Spain vs Portugal was arguably the game of the Group Stage already but the former World champions sacking their head coach Julen Lopetegui has added an extra spice to proceedings – as if it was needed.
Fernando Hierro will take charge of Spain – if only in name. It looks more like the players will govern themselves with Sergio Ramos at the helm.
As they look to find their feet, they only have to face the most destructive goalscorer at the World Cup in Russia in Cristiano Ronaldo. It will certainly be interesting.
Iberian rivals Portugal and Spain square off on Friday at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the second match of Group B. The neighbors, with plenty of familiar players and similar styles, go to battle in what is arguably the most highly-anticipated groups stage match of the cup
With Iran and Morocco in their group, this is a match that will put the winner as the strong favorite to win the group, while a draw will leave both vulnerable to a shocking upset and potential early exit. For the loser, even more so.
Spain enters this game in good shape overall, but it is expected to be without defender Dani Carvajal, who has just returned to training. He isn’t expected to play in this one, though.
After helping his side to an ‘unlikely’ Euro triumph last time out, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates will be hoping to shock the world in Russia again.
The reigning European Kings have been given a tough test in their opening match as they face Iberia rivals, Spain who are equally seen as favourites to win the 2018 World Cup.
Though the camp of Spain is seen as disorganized following the sacking of their erstwhile manager, Julen Lopetegui barely 48 hours to this important duel, the former World Champions are still expected to give a good show on Friday.
HEAD TO HEAD:
Spain enjoy a better head to head record than the European Champions, the two sides have met on 36 occasions with the Portuguese national team claiming a win eight times and 12 draws and suffered 18 defeats from the Spanish team.
The teams last faced off in the semi-finals of Euro 2012 – Spain winning that one on penalties following a stalemate in normal time at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.