Portugal vs Spain – World Cup

Reigning European champions Portugal face neighbours Spain in Sochi to round off the second day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup (WC).Last December’s draw saw these two heavyweights placed alongside Morocco and Iran in Group B, which is arguably one of the toughest groups on paper.
Portugal, who topped their qualifying group (W9, D0, L1, +28), are making their fifth straight WC appearance. Since clinching qualification, Fernando Santos’ side have played seven friendlies, winning just three (D3, L1). They are coming off a 3-0 victory over Algeria in their final warm-up game last week.
2010 WC winners Spain haven’t missed out on the WC since 1974 and head to Russia on the back of a sensational 20-match unbeaten run (W14, D6, +48) under boss Julen Lopetegui. They were one of only four European teams to go through the entire WC qualifying campaign undefeated (W9, D1), scoring the second most goals (36) while conceding the joint-fewest (three).
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This will be the 37th instalment of the Iberian derby (Portugal six wins, 13 draws, Spain 17 wins). It’s the Spaniards who have come out on top most in the eight competitive meetings between the sides to date (W4, D3, L1). Their only previous encounter in the WC came in South Africa 2010 when Spain won 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals.
Key battle: Manchester United’s talented stopper David de Gea comes face to face with Portugal’s all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo (81 goals, 150 appearances). De Gea, who won his first Premier League Golden Glove award this season, boasts an impressive 11 clean sheets in 16 competitive games for Spain.
Stat attack: Neither side have managed to score more than once in each of the last four competitive encounters between the sides.

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