Group B is not a joke. It has Spain and Portugal with Asian superpower Iran to go with Morocco. Read on for our preview of each of the squads in the group along with our prediction.
Betting Preview for the FIFA World Cup Group B Matches Running from June 15 to 25, 2018
It’s mildly surprising that Spain only has one World Cup title considering how they have long been headlined as among the best in the world in terms of football. They won that lone title in 2010, relatively not that long ago. There are still holdovers from that unit that will go to football wars in Russia, including the likes of Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta. Ramos is still on top of his game and remains as one of the finest defenders in the world. He’ll also be joined on defense by Gerard Pique, another elite back and a veteran of Span’s 2010 Cup run. Iniesta, meanwhile, is 34 and surely no longer the elite player that he used to be in previous World Cup, but his experience is going to be valuable to a Spanish squad. There’s also no lack of motivation for this team, as they aim to bounce back strong from a humbling group stage exit in 2014.They are +600 to win it all in Russia.
Portugal have the man in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, but they don’t have a World Cup. It’s one thing to have the Golden Boy of soccer, but it’s for being world champions Portugal wants to be known in the sport. Priced +200 to win Group B, Portugal will go as far as where Ronaldo takes them, though, there are no shortages of talent in this squad that won the Euro championship just two years ago. Apart from Ronaldo, Portugal is banking on Andre Silva, who is among the top scorers in the Europa League, to help on the attack along with the intriguing Goncalo Guedes. Ronaldo, Silva, and Guedes make for a scary trio on the attack for Portugal, who emerged victorious in nine of 10 matches in the qualifiers while averaging nearly three goals per contest. Ronaldo and company have odds of +200 to top the group.
It’s been 20 years since Morocco last showed their faces in the World Cup, so expect the country’s participation in the even a monumental event back home regardless how their team performs. For the Atlas Lions to get through the group stages, it would very much likely need to upset or draw at least Spain or Portugal, the two favorites in Group B. Morocco’s chances of doing that aren’t high, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to try. For them to succeed, they will have to carry the same choking defense that they displayed in the African qualifiers where they did not give up a single goal, coming away with an aggregate score of 11-0. Morocco have odds of +450 to reach and get eliminated in the round of 16.
Once again, the Iranians are back in the World Cup four years after they participated in the tournament in Brazil. This is their first back-back trips to the World Cup. This team showed flashes of talent and grit in Brazil, where they caused Argentina massive headaches in what eventually became a 1-0 loss. Then they drew with Nigeria, adding to the idea that Iran aren’t one to be taken lightly. Like Morocco, the Iranians rely on a stingy defense that flusters opponents’ attacks and keeps the game close enough for them to have a chance to win against stronger foes. In the Asian qualifiers, Iran had an undefeated record, winning six matches and drawing four while also holding all their opponents down to a total of two goals. They are +3,300 to win Group B.
Key Game – Portugal vs. Spain (June 15)
If there’s one game in the group that everyone should watch, it’s this one between the two Iberian neighbors. After all, they’re the top two favorites to advance among Group B participants. The last time these two teams met in the World Cup, Spain defeated Portugal, 1-0, in 2010.
Spain wins the group and advances into the next round along with Portugal. Iran finishes third, while the Moroccans settle for last place.
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