Spain take on Morocco knowing they need just one point to book their place in the last 16, although they will be looking for the win that would help them win the group. Despite the incredible start to their World Cup campaign, that saw manager Julen Lopetegui sacked on the eve of the tournament, La Roja have looked one of the better sides in Russia and will expect to qualify against an already eliminated Morocco.
However, the North African side have been really unlucky and were the better side against both Iran and Portugal but somehow managed to lose both games. So, they will be eager to get some points on the board that they feel they deserve and with talented players like Younes Belhanda and Hakim Ziyech, they have enough about them to cause the Spanish trouble. Nevertheless, the Europeans will start as big favourites and will be seeking their second win in Group B.
Here we will give you Spain vs Morocco betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Spain vs Morocco prediction for the Group B encounter.
Our Spain vs Morocco Prediction: Spain 2-0 Morocco
Our Spain vs Morocco prediction tips is for Fernando Hierro’s men to secure a comfortable win that will see them advance to the last 16 as group winners.
Whilst Spain know a point will see them qualify, they will want to avoid Uruguay in the knockout round so will go all-out for a win. And, as it stands they are on the same points as Portugal, with the same goal difference so need to better their result. With a fantastic midfield capable of controlling the game, Spain will try and make Morocco work and will back their quality in the final third to come through.
Yet, Morocco have had the better of their past two opponents in terms of general play and have quality of their own that will mean they compete. The issue for them is a lack of a class striker and once again that will make things tough for them. They also are a side that like to play on the front foot and could be picked off by the Spanish who will exploit any spaces.
Our recommended tip – Spain -1
Potential next round opponents for Spain are Uruguay and Russia and even though they are hosts, Russia are without doubt the side they’ll want to play.
To do that, they need to top the group and whilst Portugal won’t have it their own way against Iran, if they do win, Spain may need to win by one more goal than them to get top spot. Therefore, they are sure to go all-out for goals, looking to put this game to bet to avoid any doubt. With Morocco already out, their motivation may be questionable and La Roja could take advantage.
The clash in Kaliningrad is just the third time these two nations will have met and the first since 1961, with Spain winning both previous fixtures.
So far in this tournament, Spain have been a very good side to watch. They were involved in the best game of the World Cup against Portugal when they drew 3-3 and edged an intriguing match against Iran last time out. Their performance levels have been good and Deigo Costa is adding a clinical side to this silky team.
Meanwhile, Morocco have been arguably the most unfortunate team at the finals. They deserved all three points against Iran but a late own goal meant they got off to an awful start. They were then eliminated after a Cristiano Ronaldo header was enough for Portugal. In between both boxes they are great to watch and play fast, attacking football but ultimately they haven’t got the ruthlessness to finish teams off.
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Players to watch – Andres Iniesta & Diego Costa
Given Spain’s need to win, this could become about how many they score, so we will focus on two key attacking players that could play a key role in ensuring La Roja top Group B.
The scorer of the 2010 World Cup winning goal in the final is still a key man for his country. The former Barcelona man can pick out a pass from anywhere on the pitch and will be the man his side turn to if they need to unlock the Morocco defence. He will be given license to roam and will be key in linking the midfield and attack.
That attack will be spearheaded by Costa, who has three goals already this tournament. His physique offers Spain a different threat and it’s paid off so far. With the outrageous midfield he has behind him, the former Chelsea man is sure to get chances and will need to maintain his high standards tonight if they are to record a win.