Group B could provide one of the most tantalising match-ups of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
2010 World Cup champion Spain will take on the defending European Champion, Portugal (that has a guy named Cristiano Ronaldo) in a group that could provide a real contender for the cup. While Morocco and Iran are long shots to win the group, they can be dangerous and Spain and Portugal cannot take them lightly.
Let’s take a look at the best odds available and who provides the best betting value.
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Spain Group B betting odds
Spain does have some young talent on the squad, but the veterans lead this team as they come back for one more chance at international glory. David Silva, Sergio Ramos, Pique and Sergio Busquets are the “old guys” at 29 years or older and the young guys of Alvaro Morata, Marco Asencio, and Isco look to blend in well. Ramos from Real Madrid is the anchor of what may be the best defensive back four in the world and that defense has to play well, as the Spanish do not feature the attack that they once had. However, that may change if Alvaro Morata can come into his own in Russia this summer. With its great defense the counter attack will be key for Spain. They face Portugal in the opening match in group play.
Group B betting odds for Portugal
Portugal had no problem qualifying for the World Cup, winning nine of their 10 preliminary matches. Ronaldo leads an attack that averaged more than three goals per match in WC qualifying. Andre Silva did not have a great club season for AC Milan, but played well in qualifying matches and he has to help Ronaldo out, as opposing defenses will obviously focus on him. Portugal won the Euros with extra time and penalty wins, executing and not making mistakes. They have to do the same in the World Cup and that is especially the case when they face Spain in the big Group B encounter.
Morocco Group B betting analysis
Morocco is dangerous, not because of their attack, which is less than stellar, but their great defense. After conceding a goal in their first World Cup qualifying match, the Moroccans kept six clean sheets in a row. They have also looked pretty good in recent friendlies, beating both Serbia and Nigeria, who will be playing this summer in Russia. Mehdi Benatia played at Juventus and while he is not a starter, he is the key for the back-line defense for Morocco. He is the captain of the team, which must look for the counter-attack, as they are not great up front and their midfield is more a defensive one. Morocco faces Iran in the first group match and the loser of that match has a major uphill battle still having to face Spain and Portugal.
Iran Group B betting odds
Iran may have the worst odds to win Group B, but it did go undefeated in its World Cup qualifying campaign and only gave up two goals. Like Morocco, Iran is led by their defense and their counter attack and head coach Carlos Queiroz has drawn up a great blueprint. However, can Iran follow through on that with a lack of world class players and facing the likes of Spain and Portugal? Young striker Sardar Azmoun has 22 goals as a 22-year old for the national team and while he is talented he struggled this season for his club Rubin Kazan. He will be counted on to lead the attack, but the defense has to play great for the Iranians to advance to the knockout phase.
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