Spain vs. Russia: 2018 World Cup – Match Preview

Host nation Russia face the 2010 World Cup champions Spain in Sunday’s first last 16 round tie.

Spain qualified top of Group B, however were far from impressive, claiming just five points.

An edgy win over Iran came either side of draws with Portugal and Morocco.

Russia were excellent in their first two group stage games, scoring eight in games against Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

They were convincingly beaten by Uruguay in their final game, however qualification was already assured.

Match history
The two nations have met six times prior to Sunday’s last 16 tie and the Spanish are yet to suffer a defeat.

Spain beat Russia twice at Euro 2008, a competition they went onto win, including a 3-0 semi-final success.

Last five international meetings
Russia 3 Spain 3 – 14/11/17
Russia 0 Spain 3 – 26/06/08
Russia 1 Spain 4 – 10/06/08
Spain 0 Russia 0 – 27/05/06
Spain 1 Russia 0 – 12/06/04

Draw HT / Spain FT – 7/2 with 888 Sport

Team news
There are rumours in Spain that David Silva could be dropped for the XI following a poor start to the tournament.

The Manchester City man could easily remain in the XI, however a potential replacement is Marco Asensio.

Russia will be without the banned Igor Smolnikov after he was sent off against Uruguay on Monday.

Alan Dzagoev could return to the substitutes bench having suffered an injury in the tournament opener vs. Saudi Arabia.

Expected starting XI’s
Spain (4-3-3): De Gea; Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Koke; Silva, Costa, Isco
Russia (4-3-3): Akinfeev; Fernandes, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Zhirkov; Gazinskii, Zobnin, Golovin; Samedov, Zuyba, Cheryshev

Predictions

Result: Spain (8/13 with Sky Bet)

Correct Score: 2-1 (17/2 with Bet 365)

Anytime Goalscorer: Diego Costa (11/8 with 888 Sport)

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