On balance the 2018 World Cup has been a success for Russia. The tournament has come off well and without a glitch. Just as important the home team has been respectable. Although they benefited from a weak group The Golden Eagles made the Round of 16. For Russia this is a landmark achievement. This is their first knockout stage appearance as a country. As the Soviet Union they last made it in 1986. Spain is a perennial betting the World Cup top tier favorite. And while they won Group B it was a sluggish performance.
2018 FIFA World Cup Spain vs. Russia
Date and Time: Sunday, July 1, 2018, 10 a.m. ET
Location: Luzhniki Stadium, Russia
World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Russia||+1 (-130)||2½ (+123)|
|Spain||-1 (+115)||2½ (-138)|
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FOX
Spain’s Lopetegui Dilemma
Spain was the 2010 World Cup champion. But in 2014 they stumbled badly at Brazil with a finish of 23rd. Their failure to get out of Group stage was a national disgrace. So a new manager was named. Julen Lopetegui was hired to get the program back on track. And he did just that. Spain entered Russia as a betting the World Cup championship chalk. But the real men of genius in Spain’s administration decided to stir the pot. They sacked Lopetegui on the eve of their first match. It wasn’t that the coach had failed. It was that he took the Real Madrid job effective at tournament’s end.
Spain so Far
Spain’s players did not want the managerial change. But they pressed on. Their sportsbook online opening match was indicative of the turmoil. Portugal played Spain to a 3-3 draw. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick. Spain’s defensive breakdowns led to speculation that Lopetegui was the missing element. The next two games did nothing to quell those concerns. Spain scored an uninspiring 1-0 win against outclassed Iran in their second match.
Things are not the same
Their third match was a near catastrophe. It was a 2-2 draw against Morocco. And it took an overturned offside call. Spain looked beaten at the 81 minute mark on Youssef En Nesyri’s goal. But Iago Aspas scored at the 90 minute mark to stave off disaster. His goal was allowed on after the original offside call was overturned. The “draw” had the feeling of a loss. Spain has not looked like itself since the firing of their manager.
Russia so Far
Russia opened the World Cup in grand fashion with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Next was a 3-1 victory over Egypt. The easy wins had many thinking an upset over Uruguay was possible. But in the deciding match of Group A reality struck with a 3-0 Uruguay win. Still, the Russians made the Round of 16. Which was their original goal all along. And Spain has played so poorly that an upset is not an impossibility.
Matchup to Watch
Russia has a shot at Betting the World Cup history. This is a golden opportunity to catch Spain off guard. La Roja likely regrets kicking Lopetegui to the curb. It has proven to be a considerably ill timed move. Spain has played too poorly to make the big overlay. Russia rates the value shot.
Betting the World Cup: World Cup Betting Odds Picks
It’s not really about going with Russia. Instead it’s about going against Spain.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Russia
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Russia 1, Spain 0