Spain vs Russia Round of 16 World Cup Picks & Predictions 7/1/2018
World Cup Round of 16
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Spain will take on Russia at Spartak Stadium in a Round of 16 matchup on Sunday, July 1, 2018. The opening line for this World Cup matchup has Spain at -189 and Russia at +460. The total opened at 2.5.
Host nation Russia is going to have the toughest challenge of its tournament so far when it faces Spain in the Round of 16. Russia had one of the top scoring teams during the group stages, but they will have a very hard time scoring a lot against this Spain side since they love to hold onto possession and they have some of the best offensive players in the world. Spain are the big favorites to win this matchup and move into the quarterfinals.
It has to be said that Spain did not look great during the group stages despite finishing in the top spot in Group B. Their 3-3 draw with Portugal was one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far, but they barely beat Iran and they had to settle for a draw with lowly Morocco. They should have enough offensive firepower to defeat the Russians and move into the quarterfinals, but they will need to play better than they did during the group stages to make it any further than that.
The striker had three goals during the group stages, including two against rivals Portugal in the first fixture. You can be sure that the Spain midfielders will be looking for Costa early and often to put pressure on Russia's back line. The one worry with Costa, as always with the emotional striker, is that he will lose his cool at some point and actually hurt his team.
Russia will probably sit back and defend for large portions of this game, which means that creative players like David Silva are going to need to pick out passes that break that defense down. Silva, like most of the other Spain midfielders, is used to teams parking the bus against his teams, so he should have no problem finding Costa and other threats up top for some scoring chances.
Russia had an excellent start to their World Cup by picking up dominant 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia and a 3-1 triumph over Egypt. Their final game during the group stages wasn't as great as they were shut out by group leaders Uruguay. They did show that they are a balanced team, though, which should give them a slight chance against this more talented Spain side. They will need to play a perfect game and the fans will need to be very loud if they're going to get through to the quarterfinals.
Chances are Akinfeev is going to see a lot of shots come his way, so he is going to need to be at his best to give Russia a chance. The 32-year-old is a great leader but there's a pretty good chance that he is going to be overwhelmed in this matchup.
The 27-year-old winger was one of the most surprising players from the group stages after putting away three goals in just three games. He will get forward in this game, but just as importantly he will be tasked with tracking back and keeping Spain from getting comfortable on the ball.
Key Spain Injuries
No key injuries to report
Key Russia Injuries
No key injuries to report
Who will win tonight's Spain/Russia World Cup game against the spread?
Guy's Pick: Take Russia +460
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