Global football fraternity is still in shock after watching the dreams of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo get shattered by France and Uruguay in FIFA World Cup 2018. The two stars could’ve met in the quarterfinals had their teams won on Saturday but now they will only see each other at the Airport. In the same breath, a new star in the name of Kylian Mbappe has been born. The 19-year-old dismantled and terrorized Argentina until his coach Didier Deschamps withdrew him. He netted twice and won a penalty to help Le Bleus book a last eight spot. Today, the second doubleheader will see Spain take on the hosts Russia and Croatia entertain Denmark. It is the reason why we want you to be cocksure when and where to invest your hard-earned cash. Who will come out on top? Take a look at the following tips and predictions; we hope this information helps you make an informed decision courtesy of Bet9ja.
Round of 16
Time: CAT 1600, EAT 1700
Spain Vs. Russia
The second doubleheader of knockout matches will be played today. 2010 World Cup champions Spain will face hosts Russia at the Iconic Luzhniki Stadium. The two sides meet in a time we all don’t exactly know what to expect from this clash.
La Roja problems started even before the tournament started when Julen Lopetegui was sacked for signing a secret deal with Real Madrid. Fernando Hierro was handed the task of leading the team in the World Cup. The change of guard has not been smooth because the team has struggled to win matches so far. In fact, they almost lost their final group game against Morocco which could’ve have eliminated them.
The hosts were seriously exposed by Uruguay in their final group tie. They surprised everybody with their first two big victories against Saudi Arabia and Egypt to book their last 16 spot. However, their weaknesses were exposed by a better team. This means both teams come into this game not sure what to expect from the other. The Spaniards have enjoyed a better run of results in recent months. For instance, despite not convincing, they have drawn 3 and won 3 in their last six matches. The same cannot be said about their opponents who have so far lost 3, won 2 and drawn one in their last six outings.
— ProSportsLeague (@ProSports_Leagu) July 1, 2018
This game will be won or lost in the first 45 minutes in my opinion. Stanislav Cherchesov knows his squad is not so young anymore. They need to be on the front foot from the first minute to control the game. They are likely to come out guns blazing and attack in numbers to score at least 2 goals then defend in the second half. It will be suicidal if they allow Spain to grow in the game with their style. Set pieces will also be very important for Russia. Hierro will be banking on Diego Costa to unlock the shaky defense of the hosts. The trickery of Andres Iniesta, David Silva, and Isco might just be too hot for Golovin and his colleagues. This game is likely to be the first one to be decided on penalties because there is no way Ramos and his team will get their way when 80, 000 local fans are cheering their team.