Portugal vs Spain
Kick-off Time: 11:30 pm (IST)

After the shocking departure of Julen Lopetegui, The Spanish National Team seem to be in a state of awe. La Roja get their World Cup campaign underway on Friday when they take on Portugal, who will look to take advantage of the shambolic state of the Spanish National team. 

Preview

Lopetegui was sacked by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Wednesday, just a day before the start of the World Cup when it was announced that he is set to take over as the head coach of Real MadridFernando Hierro is set to take the Manager role for Spain and it will be interesting to see how the players respond.

Portugal will be eager to take advantage of the apparent upheaval that is afflicting their rivals and a win in the first game would set them well on their way towards reaching the knock-out stage, with games against Morocco and Iran to come. Portugal, who come into the tournament as champions of EURO 16 will face Spain and provide us with a scintillating display of football.

Team News

Portugal: Fernando Santos has brought a very experienced squad to this World Cup. Players like Joao Moutinho, PepeManuel FernandesBruno Alves and Jose Fonte bring experience and grit which compliments younger players and their ability to thrive on their experience. Portugal should have a fully-fit squad available for their first match as they have picked up no fresh injuries from their tournament warm-up games and training sessions.

Spain: The departure of Lopetegui has the potential to weaken the prolific Spanish side but the quality of their squad should be able to handle the pressure. Alvaro Odriozola is likely to start at the right-back position ahead of the injured Dani Carvajal

Key players

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers in the history. The is the all-time leading scorer for both Portugal and Real Madrid will be key to how far Portugal will go in their upcoming World Cup campaign.

Spain: The captain of La Roja, Sergio Ramos was a key player in the teams that won two European Championships and one World Cup. Even though he is criticized for a rather rough style of play, the 32-year old defender is undoubtedly an impact player and will be crucial to Spain’s World Cup Campaign.

Form – Last 5

Portugal: W D |L | L

Spain:  D | D | 

Betting Odds – Sky Bet

Portugal 3/1

Draw 11/5

Spain 11/10

Score Prediction

Spain 3 – 1 Portugal: Even without the manager that formed the team and generated a prolific form like never before, Spain still look like the victors between the European Giants. One major factor which tilts the match to Spain’s favor is their recent form. They have not lost a single match since their 2-0 defeat against Italy in the round of 16 of the European Championships, nearly two years ago. The only team in the field that has gone longer without a defeat is Brazil.

Where to watch?

TV Channels (India) – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN – 15th June, 11:30 P.M IST

In addition, you can live stream all the Matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from 14th June to 15th July only on the Official SonyLIV App and the SonyLIV Website.

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