World Cup 2018 Group B Betting Preview
If Group A is the weakest group in the 2018 World Cup, then Group B is the strongest according to the FIFA rankings.
European Champions looking for World Cup glory
Amazingly, PORTUGAL are ranked third on the planet although winning the 2016 European Championship really boosted their stock and Fernando Santos will now be looking to repeat the same trick in Russia.
There was a clear element of fortune about the Euro 2016 win which saw them finish third in their group with three draws before blustering past Croatia and Poland. After beating Wales in the semi-finals, they kept things tight against France in the final and scored an extra-time winner.
Nevertheless, the Portuguese boast the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo who can carry the team into the knockout stage of the competition, while Andre Silva is the real breakthrough star of the national team and we might see Wolves’ excellent Ruben Neves feature too.
Spain among the World Cup 2018 favourites
SPAIN are back at the World Cup to make amends for their 2014 disappointment which saw them mauled 5-1 by the Netherlands, a result from which they were unable to recover.
La Roja are among the favourites to win the tournament and many of the players in the squad have that experience of triumphing in 2010, while their qualification campaign saw them score a bucketload of goals and demonstrate that they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Alvaro Morata is the sharp-shooter who will bank the striking role, with David Silva, Andres Iniesta and young star Marco Asensio likely to star in the middle of the park if manager Julen Lopetegui opts to field the Real Madrid star.
Spain and Portugal clash in their opening match, with a draw likely to please the latter more, while Iran and Morocco will both look at their curtain-raiser as an opportunity to get a win on the board.
Tough World Cup group for Iran and Morocco
IRAN were very impressive in World Cup qualifying, winning their final group comfortably and seven points ahead of second-placed South Korea. They weren’t beaten and conceded just two goals.
Carlos Queiroz has a well-drilled team who don’t concede goals, with the Iranians drawing 0-0 with Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup before nearly nabbing another point against Argentina.
They recently beat Panama and Venezuela in friendly matches and Mehdi Taremi is a talented forward who could prosper in attack.
Finally, MOROCCO are ranked 48th in the world and they won a competitive qualifying group that included Ivory Coast.
Like Iran, this was a team who founded their qualification campaign on a tight defence, with no goals conceded in the six matches and we’re likely to see a safety-first approach deployed here.
Group B Prediction
Spain v Portugal to end in a draw @ 3.50 (5/2) with bet365