MOTD Live: FIFA World Cup 2018

Portugal v Spain

Portugal v Spain

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Review


Day two of Russia 2018 and after yesterday’s amuse-bouche, a mouthwatering match is served up this evening in the shape of Portugal v Spain. Euro 2016 winners Portugal only qualified for the finals thanks to goal difference, but cometh the hour, cometh the man and no doubt Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the world stage in Sochi as if he owns it.

One of the men charged with stopping him is his Real Madrid team-mate and Spain’s captain, Sergio Ramos. And as anyone who watched the Champions League final knows, when Ramos is charged with stopping a striker he normally finds a way to do it.

Summary

Portugal v Spain (Kick-off 7.00pm). Coverage of the encounter at Fisht Stadium in Sochi, as the teams play their first match in Group B. Having won nine and drawn one of their 10 games during the qualification stage, Spain's participation at this tournament was rarely in doubt, and ensured they kept their streak alive of having made it to every World Cup since Argentina 78. However, their preparations took a shock turn for the worse when Real Madrid-bound head coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days ago. Despite the potential negative effects of this dramatic development, they will nevertheless expect to fare better than four years ago in Brazil, when they arrived as reigning champions but were eliminated at the group stage, and suffered the ignominy of losing 5-1 to the Netherlands in their first game. Portugal also booked their place in Russia by topping their qualification group, but having finished with an identical record to Switzerland of nine wins and one loss, were only guaranteed of their place by virtue of their better goal difference, whereas the Swiss went into a two-legged play-off. With commentary by Steve Wilson and Danny Murphy, and analysis by Cesc Fabregas.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gary Lineker
Commentator Steve Wilson
Commentator Danny Murphy
Sport