World Cup Group B Preview
BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW
Group B at the World Cup this summer contains two European sides in European champions Portugal and former world champions Spain, alongside Asian qualifiers Iran and African outfit Morocco.
Spain will start this group as red-hot favourites to qualify for the knockout stages. La Roja are one of the favourites to lift the trophy this summer. Julen Lopetegui’s side will be disappointed if they do not top the group with such talent in their squad. The Spain boss was actually in La Roja’s World Cup squad in 1994.
Portugal heads into the World Cup as European champions. The Selecao are ranked four places above their neighbours in the FIFA rankings at fourth-place. Surprisingly, Portugal have only qualified for six World Cups.
They have made the semi-finals on two occasions, with their best performance coming in 1966, as inspired by the great Eusebio they finished third in England.
Their one to watch will, of course, be Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who be highly familiar with group opponents Spain. The veteran star will once again be attempting to drag his team to a major trophy after their Euro 2016 triumph.
Morocco will return to the World Cup this summer after a two-decade absence from the competition. The north African nation has participated in just four World Cups, with their best performance coming at Mexico 86’.
The current squad contains players from some of the biggest European leagues, such as captain Mehdi Benatia. Herve Renard’s will be no pushovers this summer.
Iran are massive underdogs in this group. The Asian nation has qualified for just four previous World Cups, while failing to make it out of the group stage on all four occasions. However, boss Carlos Queiroz is highly experienced and will be coaching at his third World Cup finals.
It is hard to see past the two European nations qualifying from this group, although Morocco could cause an upset. However, I do believe Spain will win the group with Morocco pushing Portugal close for second place.
PREDICTION – SPAIN & PORTUGAL TO QUALFIY
Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.