SPAIN vs RUSSIA
KICK OFF: 1st July 2018 | 15: 00 CET
KNOCK OUT ROUND OF 16 | LUZHNIKI STADIUM, MOSCOW
A Date with the Hosts might not be Fruitful for Flattering Spain
A last-gasp Iago Aspas goal set up Spain to play Russia in the knockout phase, but the possibilities of this match could be shocking to the former champions. The two teams are familiar with each other, having met six times since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
The hosts started their campaign in blistering form before being humbled by World Cup veterans Uruguay in a 3-0 defeat. Spain is, of course, high on the hierarchy of international football which gives them an edge going into this encounter. But, this match will be played in Russia’s national stadium, in front of about 80,000 home fans, and the hosts will take courage with the crowd rallying behind them.
- Spain has never lost to Russia (P6, W4, D2). The last draw came in November 2017, 3-3 at Russia’s ground.
- Spain is unbeaten in their last 23 games since Euro 2016 exit.
- Russia has lost five of all their last nine games.
Given Spain’s defensive issues in this tournament, I’m tipping Russia to score in this one.