Group Stage B: POR vs. ESP
Portugal vs. Spain June 15, 2018 2:00 PM ET (TV FOX) Sochi, Russia
With home country Russia opening up the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, it will be the Portuguese and Spaniards taking center stage on Friday as countrying neighbors Portugal and Spain will do battle in a Group Stage B clash that has the following betting lines from our best sportsbooks;
Clearly two of the best teams in their group, with not many in the world giving Morocco and Iran a chance to advance, Portugal and Spain will both seek to showcase their talents and get off to a strong start… and why not as Portugal has lost just one competitive match since September 2014, while the Spaniards are unbeaten over their last 20 games?
Both teams will be well represented with mega-superstar Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way for the Portuguese, while Sergio Ramos will be asked to help lead Spain. Knowing each other all too well, Ronaldo and Ramos are teammates on Real Madrid.
And while impressive in competitive matches since 2014, Portugal will need to up their game against a Spanish team that is known for wearing down opponents on the offensive end.
In head-to-head meetings involving the Iberian countries, it is the Spaniards who have dominated with wins in 16 of their 35 matches as Portugal has won just six games in that span. Spain has won the last two major tournaments versus Portugal… the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
On the sidelines guiding their teams, Portugal is lead by coach Fernando Santos, who had his contract renewed after winning Euro 2016 as he will match wits versus Spain’s Fernando Hierro, who has limited experience on the big stage.
Will the lack of coaching experience hurt Hierro and his Spanish team? We shall see but keeping their confidence in Ramos and the boys, MyBookie is favoring ESP (+106 ML) over POR (+299 ML) with an over/under of 2.0 total game goals scored; a number I will play as I will favor the OVER of 2.0 total game goals scored as my best betting pick for my money in what should be the highlight game on Friday.