EUROPEAN champions Spain take on Iberian rivals Portugal in Cape Town tonight with the winners confident of beating either Paraguay or Japan in the quarter-final. Whoever succeeds will feel very confident of progressing to the semi-finals.
Portugal may have struggled in qualifying, but it isn’t always a negative to struggle in the build-up to a major competition and Carlos Queiroz’s side have kept clean sheets in all three group games.
Their best performance was undoubtedly the 7-0 crushing of North Korea, which sent shudders around the Sporting Index trading floor, but it’s unlikely we’ll see a game like that tonight.
Spain started disappointingly, losing 1-0 to Switzerland, but they have looked more like their old selves in the past two contests.
However, I reckon the defences hold the key to this encounter between two evenly-matched sides who will be desperate to avoid conceding early.
Portugal won 1-0 the last time these two sides met in Euro 2004 and I can see this being another low scoring game so the main bet is to sell goals at 2.2 with Sporting Index. On current form I find them quite hard to split and I’ll be backing the draw at 11/5 with Paddy Power, as well as having a small bet on no goalscorer at 7/1 with Stan James.
Spain are 4/9 favourites with William Hill to qualify and if they do progress, they are likely to be favourites to win the whole thing.
Spain and Portugal to draw at 11/5 with Paddy Power
No goalscorer at 7/1 with Stan James
Sell total goals at 2.2 with Sporting Index