Ronaldo Scores Again as Portugal Continue Push for Top Spot
Group B at the 2018 World Cup always looked like being a match between Portugal and Spain for the top spot, and that still looks to be the case after two games. Both teams have four points on the board after a thrilling 3-3 draw in their opening game and then solid 1-0 wins for both of them yesterday. Neither team looked at their best yesterday, struggling to break down the defensive minded Morocco and Iran. With just one game to go, everything is to play for and both the Portugal and Spain camps will believe they can claim top spot and qualify as group winners.
After scoring a fantastic hat trick against Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo was the man on the scoresheet again for Portugal yesterday, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Morocco. After lifting the Champions League title with Real Madrid, Ronaldo is clearly enjoying his football right now and his recent form for Portugal has shown that. He is a threat every time he is on the ball, and makes this Portugal team tick. While he is on the pitch they will fancy their chances to beat anyone in the competition, and will think they can take top spot by beating Iran in their final group game.
That may not be the easiest task though, Iran held Spain for a long time when they lost to them 1-0, and they did the same in a 1-0 victory over Morocco early in the competition. This Iran team can certainly defend and will force Cristiano Ronaldo to be at his best if Portugal are to find a way past. Assuming Spain beat Morocco in their final group game, this group is going to come down to goal difference, and right now Portugal and Spain are tied with a goal difference of +1. The final games of Group B take place on Monday night, and will Ronaldo and his Portuguese men land a bigger win over Iran than what Spain will do over Morocco? It is certainly going to be a fascinating watch because both teams will know that they are likely to win, making goals the vital difference between the two.
Looking ahead to the games, Spain are 3/10 to beat Morocco while Portugal are 4/6 to beat Iran. That means the bookmakers fancy Spain more than they do Portugal, which is a fair assessment based on the defensive capabilities we have already seen from Iran at the tournament. In the outright betting, the bookmakers fancy Spain to go further than Portugal, they are currently 9/2 second favourites to lift the trophy while Portugal are 16/1. One trophy that could be heading to Portugal is the golden boot, Ronaldo is now as short as 7/4 favourite to take that home after four goals in his opening two games.