World Cup Round 16: July 1, 2018

Spain Group B Vs. Russia Group A

Thanks to the last-minute effort from Iago Aspas, Spain prevented another huge upset by qualifying to the knockout rounds. Spain is now going against the home team Russia, on Sunday, July 1st, at Luzhniki Stadium. La Furia Roja will now need to work on their weakness in set pieces, which Morocco was able to exploit.

Fernando Hierro, the Spanish manager, will need to work harder with his team to minimize the number of errors his squad would potentially make during their game against Russia. The home team’s defense is in for a rough ride, as Diego Costa is known to muscle his way through defenders to create space. Isco, the Spanish attacking midfielder, will also have a huge role to play in orchestrating the attack against the Russians. With Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Ramos’s vast amounts of experience, the duo will have a tremendous impact in this matchup.

Russia tasted defeat after playing the game against Uruguay, the first team of good quality. Russia will need to make do without Igor Smolnikov, as he picked up a red card in the previous match. Alan Dzagoev, the central midfielder, looks like he might be playing against La Furia Roja, as he has shaken off his hamstring injury. Spain will have to find ways to nullify Artem Dzyuba, as the Russian has good aerial ability and power.

Although the Russians will have tremendous support from the crowd, Spain has the talent and speed.