Spain’s late equaliser against Morocco has set up a last 16 tie with Russia. The host nation have been impressive so far, although they were comprehensively beaten by Uruguay in their final group game which exposed their weaknesses.
Where and when: Luzhniki Stadium – 1 July, kick-off 15:00
Where you can see Spain vs. Russia: BBC
Last time: The teams played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in St Petersburg back in November, as both countries prepared for their World Cup campaigns.
|Over 2.5 goals||6/5||Offer|
|Spain to win and both teams to score||31/10||Offer|
|Costa to score first||7/2||Offer|
Spain v Russia Predictions and Preview
Spain managed to deal with the calamitous circumstances that engulfed their final preparations to top their group, although they came within a whisker of defeat against Morocco. Russia meanwhile have been buoyed by their home support, and their good start has been positive for the tournament as a whole.
Suspicions were raised by Russia’s performances that saw them top the stats for distance covered, but they were beaten 3-0 by the first quality opponents they faced in Uruguay. The Golden Eagles were hampered by Igor Smolnikov’s first-half red card, while Denis Cheryshev also scored an own goal.
Russia are priced at 11/2 for the win here, so they start as the clear underdogs. Spain are 4/7, and they should have more than enough to crush the dreams of the host nation. Morocco showed La Roja can be vulnerable though, especially from set pieces.
There was also an uncharacteristic mix-up between experienced duo Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos, and Fernando Hierro will hope his players cut out mistakes like that at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
Spain have no injuries or suspensions coming into this game, which only makes them a stronger proposition for your betslip. Russia meanwhile will be without the suspended Smolnikov, while Alan Dzagoev pulled his hamstring in their opening match and misses out.
This game can of course go to extra-time, with the draw after 90 minutes priced at 3/1. Spain are the heavy favourites at 2/7 to qualify for the next round, while Russia are 31/10 to reach what would be a hugely impressive quarter-final.
One to watch for Spain: Diego Costa leads the line for Spain, and has three goals from his first three appearances at the World Cup. He is 7/2 to score first in this one, and 7/5 to bag anytime.
One to watch for Russia: Artem Dzyuba has proven himself to be a real handful this summer, showing a deft touch and finish as well as his power and aerial ability. He’s 9/1 to score first and 15/4 anytime.
Long shot: These two have contested mostly open games so far at the World Cup, and the electric atmosphere is sure to fire up the players on Sunday. A 2-2 draw is 22/1, while Spain are 40/1 to win 3-2.