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Portugal vs Spain predictions, betting tips and preview: World Cup Group B heavyweights clash in Sochi

  • Portugal vs Spain preview for their 2018 World Cup opener
  • These teams are aiming to get off to a flyer in Group B
  • Register with Betstars here & bet £20, you'll then get £20 in free bets
Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) of Portugal is challenged by Sergio Ramos (left) of Spain (credit: Getty Images)

Portugal and Spain, the two favourites to qualify from World Cup 2018 Group B, go head-to-head in what is undoubtedly the highlight of the three matches on day two of the competition, Friday June 15.

These neighbours on the western edge of Europe both have experience within the current decade of winning a major tournament and are widely expected to occupy the top two positions in the final group standings ahead of Morocco and Iran, who meet earlier on the same day.

Portugal vs Spain match prediction

Portugal vs Spain head-to-head stats


The last five H2H meetings:

  • June 27 2012, European Championship, Donetsk
  • Portugal 0-0 Spain

This was a Euro 2012 semi-final and after 120 goalless minutes, Spain triumphed 4-2 on penalties before beating Italy in the final. Portugal only had to wait four years to lift the trophy themselves.

  • November 17 2010, friendly match, Lisbon
  • Portugal 4-0 Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo only played the first half and was booked, being overshadowed on the night by Helder Postiga who scored two goals, although one was credited as a Sergio Ramos own goal, with the others coming from Carlos Martins and Hugo Almeida.

  • June 29 2010, World Cup, Cape Town
  • Portugal 0-1 Spain

This was the first of two major tournaments in which Spain beat their neighbours before going on to be crowned champions, David Villa scoring the only goal in the 63rd minute of this round-of-16 clash.

David Villa (red shirt) scores Spain's winning goal in their 2010 World Cup match against Portugal (Getty Images)


  • June 20 2004, European Championship, Lisbon
  • Portugal 1-0 Spain

Portugal hosted Euro 2004 and were drawn in the same group as Spain. They met at Sporting Lisbon’s stadium and Nuno Gomes scored the winner as the Spanish made an early exit while the Portuguese went on to reach the final, losing to shock champions Greece.

  • September 6 2003, friendly international, Guimaraes
  • Portugal 0-3 Spain

Much less hinged on this meeting on Portuguese soil and Spain ran out easy winners thanks to goals from Joseba Etxeberria, Joaquin and Diego Tristan.

Portugal vs Spain quotes


Spain are warm favourites as they seek to banish the memory of their poor World Cup title defence in 2014 when they were eliminated after losing their first two matches against the Netherlands and Chile.

After the World Cup draw in December, Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said:
“Portugal are a great team, the current European champions with a host of top-level footballers.”

Fernando Santos, meanwhile, who led Portugal to their Euro 2016 success, was happy to afford Spain the status of being favourites to top the group while also refusing to discount Morocco and Iran.

Santos said:
“It’s a very deceptive and treacherous group. Portugal have to accept that we are one of the favourites but if you look in a bit more detail, you can see it’s very difficult. I have always said that Spain are naturally the favourites.”

Portugal vs Spain predicted line-ups


The fascination here will be in Cristiano Ronaldo facing some of the Real Madrid team-mates with whom he has enjoyed terrific Champions League success in recent years, potentially including Spain’s captain Sergio Ramos, Isco, Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Marco Asensio.

It will also be interesting to see how Diego Costa fares at a major tournament, assuming he is selected to lead the line for Spain rather than either of the other strikers in the squad - Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas and Valencia's Rodrigo.

Joao Moutinho (left) of Portugal and Andres Iniesta of Spain (Getty Images)
Portugal, of course, lifted the Euro 2016 trophy after Ronaldo had limped off injured in the first half, so they are clearly not a one-man team.

Joao Moutinho remains a steady, experienced influence in midfield, while Bruno Alves of Rangers is still going strong in central defence at the age of 36.

Portugal vs Spain odds


10/11 Spain (BetStars)
  12/5 Draw (BetVictor)
  15/4 Portugal (BetStars)

Portugal vs Spain betting tips


Spain have regrouped superbly under coach Lopetegui following the disappointing end to the glorious Vicente del Bosque era and should go a long way in Russia, if not all the way.

Their 7-1 friendly international win over Argentina in March was a stunning result and while Portugal will not go down without a fight, the slight odds-on for Spain looks worth taking here - with 1-0 available at 11/2 with Betfair Sportsbook in the Correct Score market and that price also appeals.



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Portugal vs Spain predictions, betting tips and preview: World Cup Group B heavyweights clash in Sochi

Portugal and Spain, the two favourites to qualify from World Cup 2018 Group B, go head-to-head in what is undoubtedly the highlight of the three matches on day two of the competition, Friday June 15.

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