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World Cup preview: Uruguay v Saudi, Portugal v Morocco, Iran v Spain

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Tuesday 19 Jun 2018

World Cup preview: Uruguay v Saudi, Portugal v Morocco, Iran v Spain

(Sharecast News) - After a night of stress for England fans, VAR controversy and some Harry Kane heroics the World Cup is now in full swing as the second round of matches get into their stride with some must-win games in Spain and Portugal's Group B.

1300 BST - Portugal v Morocco (BBC) in Group B

1600 BST - Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (BBC) in Group A

1900 BST - Iran v Spain (ITV) in Group B

Cristiano Ronaldo's performance against Spain was simply outstanding and could spell the start of a golden boot winning tournament for the Real Madrid star.

The winger's Portugal team didn't have everything their own way against Spain however, with their defensive fragility exposed by David Silva and co, and will be hoping for more of a unified performance against Morocco.

Morocco need at least a win and a draw against Portugal and then Spain or will be out of the tournament after losing at the death in their opener against Iran. The North African nation dominated possession in their opening match but the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Younes Belhanda and Amine Harit will need to be a lot less wasteful against the European champions.

Uruguay and Saudi Arabia both failed to impress in their opening matches but the South Americans did manage to snatch a late winner against Egypt. Luis Suarez in particular looked dangerously out of sorts, missing four chances, but should be able to inflict some serious damage on a Saudi Arabia team who looked hopelessly outclassed against Russia in the opening match of the competition and whose nerves have been further shredded after an engine fire on the plane as the squad flew to Rostov.

In Wednesdays final group game, Group B's unlikely leaders Iran face Spain in the final game of the day, with Carlos Queiroz's well-drilled Iranian side hoping to cause another upset. Perhaps a little fortunate to come out on top against a Morocco side who dominated their opening game, Iran will likely look for a draw against a Spanish side that tore Portugal's defence asunder with a passing masterclass on Friday.

For Spain, the drama swirling around the team in the wake of coach Julen Lopetegui's sacking was forgotten during much of their initial performance, with Diego Costa, Isco and David Silva playing truly tremendous football at times.


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