After beating Italy to top spot in Europe’s Group G on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Spain now face another stern test after being pitted against European heavyweights Portugal, as well as Africa's Morocco and Asia's IR Iran.
Portugal-Spain (15 June 2018, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi)
A mouth-watering tie in Sochi lies in store. You could hear the gasps at Moscow's State Kremlin Palace when these two European heavyweights – and neighbours – were drawn alongside each other in Group B. This is a game not to be missed.
What you need to know
- Russia presents familiar territory for Portugal. As UEFA EURO 2016 winners, Portugal secured their berth to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Fernando Santos’s side defeated Mexico in the play-off for third place.
- IR Iran will be looking to Sardar Azmoun for goals. The 22-year-old striker, who plys his trade in Russia with Rubin Kazan, notched 11 goals in qualifying, the same number as Tim Cahill (Australia), Christian Eriksen (Denmark) and Romelu Lukaku (Belgium).
- Morocco topped a tightly-contested African zone Group C to secure qualification to Russia 2018, pipping Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon and Mali.
3 – Iran were the third team to book their place at the 2018 World Cup after hosts Russia and 2014 hosts Brazil.