WorldCupAcca Confirmed Squad:
Keepers: D. De Gea, P. Reina, Kepa
Defence: J. Alba, C. Azpi, D. Carvajal, Nacho, N. Monreal, A. Odriozola, G. Pique, S. Ramos
Midfield: Isco, Thiago, S. Busquets, D. Silva, A. Iniesta, Saúl, Koke, M. Asensio
Forwards: I. Aspas, D. Costa, Rodrigo, L. Vasquez
Whilst their golden generation is almost gone Spain should be serious contenders this year after a disappointing effort in 2014.
Over the years the Spaniards World Cup performances are a disappointment to say the least, in 14 previous tournaments they have only made the semi-finals twice and only the final itself once, when they won it in 2010.
Their qualifying campaign was near perfect, winning 9 from 10 and only dropping points in a 1-1 draw away to Italy. Their more recent friendlies are a bit mixed, in the last 6 matches they have played they drew; 3-3 with Russia, 2-2 with Colombia and 1-1 with Germany, however the 3 wins they had were 5-0 against Costa Rica, 0-2 against France and a 6-1 win over Argentina thanks to an Isco hattrick.
WorldCupAcca The Squad:
First things first, David De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world and I hope he never leaves United, as far as Reina and Kepa go they have decent back-ups but don’t expect either of them to play any real part here.
Personally I feel that Jordi Alba and Dani Carvajal are a little suspect at the back and Cesar “Dave” Azpilicueta should be starting ahead of the latter anyway but the Madrid man is likely to get the nod, however in Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, plus De Gea and the fact they will generally have 60% possession Spain shouldn’t be conceding many.
There’s not too much to say about the Spanish midfield options, obviously there is serious strength in depth and some of the best players in world football – this is the real core of the team and regardless of which players are starting, it’s the best midfield in the competition.
Everyone’s favourite pantomime villain Diego Costa will lead the line for Spain, his record is ok with 7 in 18 but his main role here will be holding up the ball and linking up play with the midifield, Lucas Vazquez is generally more of a winger and will likely be back-up to the other midfield options.
His brief time in the Premier League aside, Iago Aspas is a great option coming off the bench as well, he’s pretty prolific in Spain whilst never playing for one of the “big” clubs, Rodrigo has only had 4 caps since 2014 but looks a good player from his spells with Benfica and Valencia.
WorldCupAcca The Group:
The only real threat in the group are Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo, the European Champions haven’t looked particularly great since winning the tournament 2 years ago and even then they were never close to being the best team at that tournament.
In the Confederations Cup from last year they were knocked out by Chile in the Semi then won 2-1 AET against Mexico, following this; a 3-0 vs Saudi Arabia, 1-1 with the USA, a 2-1 win over Egypt thanks to 2 goals in stoppage time from Ronaldo and then a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands
This is hardly inspiring stuff from what is supposed to be the best team on the continent, they have 3 friendlies before the tournament though 2 of these are Tunisia and Algeria so shouldn’t be any real test – the match against Belgium will give a better idea of whether they will be any sort of challengers.
Morocco were able to qualify at the expense of Gabon, Mali and Ivory Coast, finishing their group unbeaten with 3 wins and 3 draws and not conceding a goal and have followed this up with winning the African Nations Championship earlier this year, beating Nigeria 4-0 in the final.
Carlos Queiroz’ Iran complete Group B, despite a great showing in qualifying finishing undefeated in their group with 6 wins and 4 draws, this group will be too much for them. They’ve only won 1 game from their 4 previous World Cup Finals, a 2-1 victory over the USA in 1998. They’ll do well to get a point here.
WorldCupAcca Betting Tips:
World Cup Group B Fixtures / Results
|Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg – June 15, 2018 6:00 pm|
|Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi – June 15, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow – June 20, 2018 3:00 pm|
|Kazan Arena, Kazan – June 20, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Mordovia Arena, Saransk – June 25, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad – June 25, 2018 8:00 pm|
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