Best Odds: 4/1
The final set of fixtures in the World Cup group stages are almost upon us, and for the most part, we still don’t know which 16 teams will make up the knockout stages. In Group B we’ve seen several stand-out performances across the first four games, and now, three teams are still in with a chance of finishing in the top two. Spain will have the opportunity to cement their place in the next round with a victory over Morocco, who have already been eliminated after back to back defeats.
Losing your manager is never good for the morale of your team, especially when it happens just one day before the World Cup even begins. However, credit where credit is due – Spain have been able to bounce back impressively from that early disappointment. They’ve picked up four points from a possible six, and while they struggled against Iran, they still managed to grind out the result. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not they can cope with an equally frustrating Morocco side.
Spain could name the same starting XI as they did against Iran, with Carvajal & Vazquez expected to retain their spots with Iniesta playing deep.
Morocco came into this tournament as a team who were expected to cause an upset or two, but unfortunately, they’ll be leaving it wondering ‘what could have been’. They were the better team throughout large portions of their games against Iran and Portugal, but they were never quite able to find that killer instinct. While they may be heading home they won’t want to go empty-handed and taking on a Spain team who have proven that they can get frustrated easily could open the door for a final game hurrah.
Ayoub El Kaabi could come back into the squad, and several fringe players could get a run out to gain some World Cup experience.
Factors to Consider
- Spain have a 2-0 lead over Morocco in the head to head, with both wins coming back in 1961.
- Morocco have won three, drawn one and lost two of their last six games – with the defeats coming in their WC group games.
- Spain have won three and drawn three of their last six games – including a win and a draw in Russia thus far.
- Morocco have scored no goals in their first two games, conceding two.
- Spain have scored four goals in their first two games, conceding three.
While Spain have certainly got to be considered the favourites to walk away with the three points in this one, we don’t think it’s going to be that easy. Morocco are going to want something to remember this World Cup by, and Spain will still be sweating it out to see whether or not they’re even going to make it to the knockout stages. They’ve shown signs of inconsistency thus far, and we think that they’re going to be held to a 0-0 draw by Morocco here – with Portugal claiming first spot with a win over Iran.
Best Odds: 4/1