Spain vs Portugal predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Nations League fixture. Read on for analysis as the two Iberian rivals clash again.
|Date||Thursday 2nd June 2022|
|Kick-Off||19:45 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Nations League|
Spain vs Portugal Preview
Iberian rivals Spain and Portugal clash as the latest edition of the UEFA Nations League kicks off this week. Portugal were the inaugural winners of this competition in 2019 while Spain reached last year’s Final and both sides will be hoping to go all the way this time around.
Switzerland and the Czech Republic are the other sides in Group A2 but it’s Spain and Portugal who will be strongly fancied to fight it out for 1st place and therefore this is a big game to have first up for Luis Enrique’s side. They are in Seville for it, with the Benito Villamarín set to provide the noise as La Roja aim to get off to a winning start.
The Spain boss will have to cope without some of his star names. Aymeric Laporte and Thiago Alcântara have both pulled out of the squad through injury following busy Premier League seasons. There is also no Pedri who was so heavily involved last summer with the national team but has endured an injury-plagued season at Barcelona. Those midfield absences may hand Carlos Soler a fresh chance to impress over the next fortnight with four of the six group games taking place as Spain return to competitive action for the first time since sealing World Cup qualification against Sweden in November.
Portugal meanwhile had to wait until March to seal their place at the 2022 World Cup. They were ultimately spared the expected powerhouse showdown with Italy thanks to the surprise win of North Macedonia in the Semi-Final. A brace from Bruno Fernandes was decisive as Portugal defeated the Balkan nation in the Final in Porto to ensure Cristiano Ronaldo will get what will surely be his final crack at winning the World Cup.
Fernando Santos’ team will be one of the contenders in Qatar and all of their big hitters have travelled to Seville for this game. They are not short on quality midfielders and have goals in their side but Spain may look at Portugal’s defence, which is still marshalled by a now 39-year old Pepe, as an area they can look to exploit.
Spain vs Portugal Predictions
Score Prediction: Spain 1-1 Portugal
There’s not a lot to choose between the teams here and it’s not easy to pick a winner. Muchlike at Barcelona, Pedri is already a player whose absence is felt with the national team and Spain may struggle to exert as much control with neither him nor Thiago on the pitch. Both sides still have players of genuine quality but also some notable flaws and it could end up all square in Seville.
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