Group B’s matchday - 3 encounters between Spain and Morocco could prove to be an interesting match with a few sub-plots. In a group that also comprises Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions Portugal, it is hard to see how Morocco could reach the next round. They have only ever reached the round of 16 once and they’ll be aiming to replicate their 1986 heroics in Russia. The ideal route to this feat will be to take points off either Spain or Portugal. Both teams dropped points in their first game, playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw in Sochi, with Morocco claiming a last-gasp winner against minnows Iran. If Morocco go on to lose against the two European giants, it becomes a two-horse race for the title of group winner.
Spain has a very well balanced team, with Real Madrid and Barcelona aces Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba shoring up the defence, a formidable array of midfield options in Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Isco, Thiago Alcantara and so on as well as the elusive Diego Costa up top. Not to mention the best goalkeeper in world football between the sticks in David de Gea. Despite the late change in coach surrounding the drama following Lopetegui’s sacking, the caliber and professionalism of the Spanish players is expected to shine through. If qualification as well top seed in the group are confirmed before the match against Morocco, expect to see a lot of the fringe players get a few minutes.
Bookies have Spain to claim all three points against Morocco at odds of 4/11 on Betfair and SkyBets, with Morocco at 19/2 and a draw at 17/5. You can bet on Diego Costa bagging goal or two, as he is expected to start and sees a lot of the goal-scoring chances go through him.