Portugal v Spain Betting Tips
The time difference between Russia and Australia is going to mean some late nights/early mornings for soccer fans Down Under.
After a second friendly win against Hungary, most of the country will be staying up to catch the Socceroos’ action in Group C but there are many other games worth burning the candle at both ends for.
Portugal against Spain is the standout match from the first round of World Cup fixtures. It’s an encounter to set pulses racing all around the world but what are the best betting options from this Iberian derby?
Spain Look the Value to Kick Off Their Campaign in Style
Portugal have every right to head to the World Cup with their heads held high. Fernando Santos and his players proved they have exactly what it takes to win a major international tournament at Euro 2016, a success which should ensure confidence levels are high among this current squad.
By winning the 2010 World Cup after triumphing in Euro 2008, Spain showed that winning can become habitual but those expecting Portugal to do something similar are likely to be in for a surprise.
Nobody can take Portugal’s win away from them but there few people believe Santos’ men were the best team at the Euros. Portugal won just one match inside 90 minutes and had more than their fair share of luck en route to lifting the trophy at the Stade de France.
There is no doubt they’ll need to improve considerably to have any chance in Russia. That improvement looks unlikely for a couple of reasons.
Santos is a defensive minded coach. That sort of approach doesn’t exactly get the best out of Portugal’s highly creative midfielders. Moreover, Santos is struggling to set up a defence that is a mixture of players who are past their prime and inexperienced stars of the future.
Spain manager, Julen Lopetegui, has an awesome combination of guile, technique and physicality in his squad. They are among the favourites in the 2018 World Cup betting for good reason so we think you should bet on Spain to beat Portugal at $1.91 with Centrebet.
Spain Set to be Among the Goals
Lopetegui has the problem that every manager at the World Cup would love. Just how does he fit so many world class players into one team?
Among the biggest dilemmas facing the Spain manager is whether to start Iago Aspas or Diego Costa up front.
The two strikers bring very different things to the table so Lopetegui is likely to utilise them both during the World Cup. It remains to be seen who gets the nod to play Portugal but whatever he decides, Spain should have little trouble creating chances in Sochi.
Santos also has some excellent attacking options including the ever reliable Cristiano Ronaldo who is desperate to make up for Portugal’s disappointing display in Brazil. So, a bet on over 2.5 goals should return nicely at odds of $2.40 with Bet365.
Another tempting betting option is the $2.25 that bookmaker.com.au are quoting on Spain scoring two goals or more.
Will the Referee Be Busy in Another Fiercely Contested Derby?
Despite being neighbours, Portugal and Spain have not played each other since they met in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.
Spain secured the win that night thanks to a penalty shootout but the game was marred by the nine yellow cards shown by referee, Cuneyt Cakir.
This is a derby and a potentially crucial game in the race to qualify from Group B so expect more tough tackles. Any number of players could be in trouble with the referee but the best option for your betting is Spain midfielder, Sergio Busquets, at $3.50 with Unibet. More World Cup Free Bets
Portugal v Spain Top Betting Tips
Spain to win at $1.91 with Centrebet
Over 2.5 goals at $2.40 with Bet365
Spain to score two or more goals at $2.25 with bookmaker.com.au
Sergio Busquets to be shown a card at $3.50 with Unibet