Spain will have a preview of the 2018 World Cup in Russia on Tuesday 14 November. At the Krestovsky stadium in St Petersburg, they will face the host country of the World Cup. The game against the Russians starts scheduled for 16:45 GMT.
Russia’s recent performance
Having not had the need to play the qualifiers, the Russians can not prove to be a threat in the friendlies they have been doing. On Saturday, November 11, even at home, they were defeated by Argentina 1-0.
The scoreboard does not show exactly what the game was. The owners of the house were completely dominated by rivals. They had only 30% of the ball possession and little they could create. They tried only four finalizations during the 90 minutes and only one of them was in the Argentine goal. The six defenses made by goalkeeper Akinfeev avoided a bigger defeat and gave the impression of lack of balance once the victory goal was scored by Kun Aguero in the 41st minute of the final stage. In the last five matches, Russia lost three times.
The current form of Spain
The Spaniards, by contrast, had a convincing performance against Costa Rica in a friendly also held on Saturday. In Málaga, they thrashed by 5 to 0 achieving in this way a series of six consecutive victories, being that in the last five departures the Fury was not even leaked.
The period of invincibility is even greater. Spain’s most recent defeat came on June 27 when in the Euro 2016 Round of 16 the team was eliminated by Italy with a 2-0 lead. Since then they have played 15 matches, including friendlies and official matches, having won 12 of them and drawn on three occasions.
Facing Costa Ricans, coach Julien Lopetegui even experimented. He left, for example, goalkeeper De Gea on the bench giving Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Bilbao a chance. The 23-year-old archer did not have much work. Of the four finals attempted by Costa Rica, only one was on target.
On the right-back, without Carbajal, injured, the young Alvaro Odriozola, from the Royal Society, had the opportunity to act. Other experiences were made throughout the match and most likely new changes must be made to face Russia.
The coach has at his disposal the following players:
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao), David De Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli)
Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Alvaro Odriozola
Real Madrid, David Silva (Manchester City), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Luis (Real Madrid), Isco (Real Madrid), Thiago Alcântara (Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets Alberto (Lazio), Suso (AC Milan)
Attackers: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Jose Callejon (Napoli), Rodrigo (Valencia), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea), Vitolo
History of the matches Russia vs Spain
The Spaniards never lost to the Russians. In five games, they won four times and drew another.
Having a style that has possession of the ball as practically an obsession, Spain must repeat on Tuesday against Russia what happened when the host country of the world faced Argentina last Saturday. Take control of the ball practically all the time and, in this way, create a much greater number of opportunities to finish. The quality of these finalizations will be decisive for the result.
The clash with Costa Rica showed that the Spaniards are keenly aiming and so should be considered the best betting option for the friendly in St. Petersburg. They have a price of 1.50 in Bet365. Draw shows return of 4.00 and success of the owners of the house pays 7.00 for each real bet.