2018 World Cup Preview – Spain

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The 2010 champions have underwhelmed in their last two major tournaments are back among the favourites to win the World Cup in Russia this July.

Spain World Cup Betting Markets

Stage of Elimination

  • Group Stage @ $11
  • Round of 16 @ $3.25
  • Quarter Final @ $3.25
  • Semi Final @ $5
  • Runners Up @ $8.50
  • Winners @ $7.00

Draw

Group:

Spain has been drawn in Group B with Portugal, Morocco, and Iran

Opponents:

Record vs Portugal – W: 18, D: 12, L: 6

Last Meeting – 27 June 2012: Spain def Portugal 4-2 on penalties (0-0 AET)

Record vs Morocco – W: 2, D: 0, L: 0

Last Meeting – 23 November 1961: Spain def Morocco 3-2

Record vs Iran – Never Played

Schedule:

Saturday 16 June – 4:00am– Spain vs Portugal

Thursday 21 June – 4:00am – Spain vs Iran

Tuesday 26 June – 4:00am – Spain vs Morocco

Group Ranking:

It is hard to argue with Spain being installed as favourites for their group and, with all due respect to Iran and Morocco, it will come down to getting off to a good start in that first game against Portugal.

Four years ago their campaign was torpedoed by a hammering from the Dutch in the opening game and Julen Lopetegui will need to ensure his team is firing from the get go.

If they show up and take care of business early they should be able to breeze through ahead of the knockout stages.

Back Spain To Win Group B @ $1.50

World Cup History

Number of Appearances

14 – 1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014

Best Performance

Champions – 2010 (Defeated Netherlands 1-0 AET in the Final)

Match Record & Goals Tally

Played: 59, Won: 29, Drawn: 12, Lost: 18

Scored: 92, Conceded 66

2018 Qualifying Campaign

Made the World Cup by…

Spain finished on top of UEFA Qualifying Group G giving them direct passage through to Russia.

Qualifying Record & Goals Tally

Played: 10, Won: 9, Drawn: 1, Lost 0

Scored: 36, Conceded: 3

Story to Watch

This is a team laden with experience on club and international football’s biggest stages.

From league titles, cup finals and major tournaments these players will not be overawed by the occasion and will look to draw on the experience of those games to push them to title glory.

The problem is gaining that experience takes time and there are several players whose international careers are on their last legs.

Spain 2018 World Cup Squad

GOALKEEPERS

Pepe Reina, David de Gea, Kepa Arrizabalaga

DEFENDERS

Nacho Fernandez, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Avlaro Odriozola, Nacho Monreal, Cesar Azpilicueta

MIDFIELDERS

Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Saul Niguez, Koke, Isco, Marco Asensio, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva

FORWARDS

Iago Aspas, Rodrigo, Diego Costa, Lucas Vazquez

Strengths

That Spanish back five might be one of the strongest groups at the World Cup with Ramos and Pique marshalling the defence in front of David de Gea who was arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

Back David de Gea to Win the Golden Glove @ $4.50

Weakness

It is an imposing squad for Spain but their out and out striking options do raise some concerns.

Diego Costa is coming off seven goals for Atletico Madrid since his January transfer but the midfielders will need to step up and pitch in as well.

Notable Absentees

Chelsea trio Alvaro Morata, Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas were all left out of the squad after largely indifferent club seasons from all three.

Alonso’s exclusion is perhaps the harshest of the three based on his recent form, however Morata may be missed the most.

Key Player

Thiago Alcantara

Operating out of that deep midfield position, Thiago will be critical to Spain’s success in Russia.

It will be on him to step up and start several attacking moves and get the ball to playmakers such as Andres Iniesta and Isco. If his influence is nullified then Spain will find it very hard to get things going.

Final Prediction

Finishing on top of the group is critical for Spain this tournament as it should provide an easier draw in the Round of 16.

They are set up to be an excellent front running team but there are concerns about their ability to chase a game down.

PREDICION: QUARTER FINALISTS

Best Bet: Spain First and Portugal Second in Group B @ $2