Portugal v Spain Betting Tips: 2 AH-0.25, World Cup 2018

Spain could shade Portugal in Group B classic



Kickoff: 1900hrs

Football – World – World Cup 2018 Betting Tips

Welcome to my World Cup 2018 betting tips, and this clash between Portugal and Spain in Friday evening’s Group B at Sochi is undoubtedly the match of the entire group phase with two of the European heavyweights facing each other in their opening game of the World Cup finals.

Portugal seem to have not only caught up with their European peers in recent times, but eclipsed them by winning Euro 2016 in what could be described as a ‘watershed’ moment for the Selecao, who had previously so often been the ‘bridesmaids but never the brides’ as they ultimately stumbled at the final hurdle of competitions.

Under national coach, Fernando Santos, there now appears to be a more steel-like quality in defence and midfield, and they’ve become a hard team to beat as is evident in just one defeat in their last 24 competitive matches. Forward, Andre Silva, has emerged as the perfect foil for talisman, Ronaldo up front too.

However, Portugal were made to work extremely hard by Group B runners-up, Switzerland, who finished the group campaign level on points but were edged out by the Portuguese by an inferior goal difference, largely thanks to Portugal’s star player, Cristiano Ronaldo who finished as second top goal scorer in the European section with 15 goals, just one goal shy of Poland’s prolific marksman, Lewandowski.

While Portugal’s stocks have steadily risen, Spain are also staging something of a renaissance as they produced a vintage World Cup qualifying campaign which resulted in seleccion topping Group G winning nine of their ten group matches, scoring a total of 36 goals and conceding just three in reply.

Spain’s current form therefore, is in stark contrast to the Spain we saw in Brazil four years ago where they produced some very ordinary displays and failed to emerge from their group as a result, but confidence is now perhaps at an all-time high following the ease with which they qualified for the World Cup, along with holding Germany to a 1-1 draw away from home and then battering Argentina 6-1 as recently as March.

But perhaps the area where Spain may have the edge over Portugal is their depth in quality and the vast experience on hand for the Spaniards in the shape of Iniesta, Ramos, Busquets and Silva who have amassed almost 500 international caps between them – not forgetting arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, David De Gea, between the sticks.

With Diego Costa battling full fitness, Celta Vigo forward, Aspas, is expected to lead the line in this first crucial group match.

My betting tips system suggests a narrow Spain win, but I advise giving the quarter-ball here.

Pick: Spain AH-0.25 @ 1.66 Bet Victor

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