Back European Champions Portugal at Enhanced Odds of 100/1 to Win the 2018 World Cup in Russia – or go for Spain at 25/1 with 888sport
There are already some cracking World Cup offers and bonuses being made available by the bookies ahead of the start of Russia 2018 and 888sport have been getting in on the act. They are allowing new customers the choice of a number of enhanced odds offers including:
Note these significant terms in either case: New customers only. £10 minimum deposit using promo code 888ODDS. Qualifying bet must be placed at the normal odds Min bet £5, max bet £5. Extra winnings paid in FREE BETS and added within 72 hrs of qualifying bet settlement. Free bet stakes not included in bet returns. Free bets expire 7 days after credit Terms & Conditions apply.
You might also be interested in Betfair’s England Offer: 200/1 to win the World Cup?
We’ve got the preview of the Portugal v Spain match below to help you pick between the sides, or just head over to 888sport if you’ve made your mind up!
Portugal v Spain Preview, Stats and Betting Tips, Friday 15 June, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Kick off: 19:00
The draw for the 2018 World Cup has thrown up some very interesting groups, none more so that Group B. Iran and Morocco are both teams with potential who could spring a surprise in Russia but it is Portugal and Spain who are attracting most attention. Reigning European champions, Portugal, have been tipped to struggle by some pundits especially compared to their Iberian neighbours. Spain are arguably playing as well now as at any time since they won the World Cup in 2010 and Julen Lopetegui’s men are primed to get their campaign off to the best possible start.
Portugal v Spain Betting Tips
Portugal v Spain Preview
There is more than one way to win a major international tournament. Spain’s victories in both Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup were down to some of the most intricate, easy to watch football seen on the international stage. In stark contrast, Portugal’s success in France two years ago was a triumph of fighting spirit.
Portugal famously won just one match inside 90 minutes en route to lifting the European Championship. Fernando Santos’ men had to ride their luck at times and rely on the performances of their most experienced players but in the end it’s about what you win, not how you do it.
That’s something Spain fans know all about having seen their team get the balance between style and substance wrong for a while. Their tiki taka play went from being a wonderful method of suffocating the opposition to an over elaborate ball and chain around their neck. Things have very much changed for the better under Julen Lopetegiu though.
Spain are still capable of passing the opposition to death when necessary but there is now a cutting edge to the team. The spine of the team includes Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets and Diego Costa. That’s three players who are comfortable doing whatever it takes to win and their mastery of the dark arts perfectly compliments players like Andre Iniesta, David Silva and Isco.
Portugal have several top class ball players and attackers in their own ranks but they still rely heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo. Their influential captain got the team over the line in the Euro 2016 final despite being subbed off with injury but at the age of 33 he’ll need to be supported by the likes of Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario and the hugely promising Goncalo Guedes.
Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions
As you would expect from two nations who border one another there is a great deal of history between Portugal and Spain. In total, they’ve played each other 36 times. Spain come out on top of the head to head record with 18 wins to Portugal’s six and it was Spain who won via penalties when the two teams last met at Euro 2012.
After thrashing Argentina 6-1 in a friendly at the end of March, Spain have been a little disappointing in their World Cup warm ups. Lopetegui’s men were held to a 1-1 draw against Switzerland before squeezing past Tunisia 1-0. Portugal’s recent friendlies saw them hold Belgium to a 0-0 draw before a relatively impressive 3-0 win over Tunisia.
There are always a couple of world class players who miss out on the World Cup. That’s the nature of hosting an international tournament after the demanding domestic season and Portugal fans were sweating over the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo towards the end of the campaign. Fortunately, Ronaldo was fit enough to play in the Champions League final and he should be ready for the World Cup after taking a short break to recharge his batteries.
Ronaldo’s teammate at Real Madrid, Dani Carvaljal picked up a knock in the Champions League final and will likely miss the first two games of the World Cup. Otherwise, Lopetegui has few injury concerns and will instead be working out what is the best formation to use against Portugal.
Portugal v Spain Tips
The paradox about Portugal’s defensive first approach under Fernando Santos is that they are actually blessed with some excellent creative midfielders while their defence is a little shaky.
It looks certain that the Portuguese ball players will be forced to concentrate on their defensive duties against Spain but taking away from one of their strengths is unlikely to do their chances much good in their World Cup opener. Spain are one of the favourites to go all the way and lift the World Cup on 15 July and they look a good price to kick things off with a win at 19/20 with Betfair.
The problem with Portugal’s defence is that the players available are either in the autumn of their careers or lack experience on the big stage. Santos is still trying to assess his best options in defence which is something Spain can take advantage of by scoring two or more goals at 5/4 with Coral.