Portugal are a strange football nation. They possess one of the best players in the world although a reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo can be a dangerous thing, especially when he’s injured which was the case four years ago when the team crashed out at the group stage of the 2014 World Cup.
Two years later and it was the Real Madrid star that helped his team win Euro 2016, even if the rest of the side had to cope without CR7 for most of the final, with a victory achieved in extra-time.
Fernando Santos continues to be manager of the team and his stock is high after that success in France, with the team losing just one match in 2017.
However, a 3-0 reverse at the hands of the Netherlands in March was something of a worry, with a 2-2 draw against Tunisia in Braga also hinting that the defence could be prone to mistakes when the World Cup comes around.
Spain are very tough opponents, with Julen Lopetegui charged with improving on the past two tournaments which brought disappointment.
The 2014 World Cup was a huge disaster, with the Netherlands claiming a 5-1 win before another defeat against Chile. Euro 2016 saw the Spanish lose a group game against Croatia before tumbling out of the competition at the hands of Italy.
Things look different this time around. There is new blood in the midfield in the form of Isco and Koke who are likely to play key roles, while Diego Costa arrives in good form and ready to play the role of battering ram for La Roja.
Being streetwise is not a problem for Spain considering the presence of Costa in attack and Sergio Ramos at the back, with David de Gea the best keeper in the world.
All things considered, this is a match which might be settled by a single goal and we’re happy to back Spain for a 1-0 win and a win to nil.