Host country Russia’s team is still alive in the tournament after securing one of the two round of 16 slots for Group A teams. Will their luck continue in the knockout stage? They’re going to need lots of it, though, as they face superpower Spain, who have better personnel and more experience in this kind of matches.
Betting Preview for the Spain vs Russia FIFA World Cup Round of 16 Matchup on July 1 2018
Where: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow Russia
When: Sunday, July 1, 10:00AM EST
TV Broadcast: FOX Sports 1
Betting on Spain (-185)
After topping Group B with a 1-2-0 record that converted into five points, Spain are off to the knockout stage, albeit coming off a shaky performance in a 2-2 draw with Morocco last Monday. La Roja will be lead by no other than forward Diego Costa, who’s been smoking in the tournament so far, having found the back of the net three times already. It was only against Morocco that he was not able to score, but it also paved the way for others to shine like Isco and Iago Aspas, who split the two goals the team recorded in that match. The midfield is the strength of Spain and so long as elite midfielders roam the pitch for this team, they are always going to get plenty scoring opportunities just like they did against Morocco, when they kept possession of the ball 68 percent of the time. They also outshot the Lions of Atlas by a wide margin, 16-6.
Betting on Russia (+505)
Russia have done an admirable job of proving that they belong in the World Cup as a real competitive team rather than a squad just lucky to be there for being the host of the tournament. Of course, that seemed to be the case until they ran across Uruguay in their third and final match in the group stage, as Russia was thumped by Luis Suarez and company, 3-0. Prior to that, Russia made a mincemeat of minnows Saudi Arabia and Egypt via an aggregate score of 8-1. Those wins against Saudi Arabia and Egypt were nice, but it was made clear in the Uruguay match that the Russians simply don’t have the talent nor the depth to keep up with the elites of the tournament. That defender Igor Smolnikov and midfielder Alan Dzagoev due to suspension and pulled hamstring, respectively, only add to the immense challenge in front of Russia this Sunday.
Spain punch their tickets to the quarterfinals with a dominant 3-0 win over Russia.
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