In this article, Follow Your Sport brings you a preview of the World Cup Round 3 clash between Spain and Russia. We’ll be providing you with the Probable XI, the latest team news and top Fantasy picks ahead of their Round 16 battle on Sunday, 1st of July at the Luzhniki Stadium.
The last three games have not seen Spain do too well. They have two draws and only one win in a World Cup where their preparation was interrupted just days before it started with a controversial change in their Head Coach. On the other side, Russia’s last match saw their momentum of winning two matches in a row brought to a screeching halt. They lost to Uruguay, putting doubts in the minds of the home supporters for the first time.
Spain: Spain has a conundrum about which of the four players to drop, among Asensio, Iniesta, Isco and Silva. Asensio might be the one to start from the bench. Koke will likely take up the place of the holding midfielder in the game. The rumours and suggestions of replacing De Gea have been put aside by Hierro, and the Manchester United Goalkeeper will retain his spot and look to put in a better performance than in recent matches.
Russia: The hosts will be focusing on creating history by reaching the Quarter Finals. Igor Smolnikov will not be available due to suspension. Zhirkov and Golovin will be looking to gain back their place in the squad after missing on a Starting XI spot.
Spain: De Gea; Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Koke, Sergio Busquets; Isco, Andres Iniesta, David Silva; Diego Costa
Russia: Akinfeev; Ignasevich, Kutepov, Zhirkov, Fernandes; Zobnin, Gazinskiy; Cheryshev, Golovin, Samedov; Dzyuba
Top Funtasy Picks
Diego Costa: Costa has proved to be a force in the group stages despite his team’s poor overall performance. His three goals indicate more might be on the way, and there could not be a better time for him to find the back of the goal than against a team like Russia.
Denis Cheryshev: Cheryshev has done for his team what no one expected. Two big wins for Russia saw them through to the Round of 16, and Cheryshev played a big role in both the wins. He will look to continue his performance and gain some momentum back after the loss against Uruguay. A win here would need to see some contribution from Cheryshev.
Andres Iniesta: Iniesta is likely to contribute to the game whether he is in the starting lineup or starts from the bench. Iniesta made history by scoring the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup Final and won his country the cup. He will play his 30th game in major tournament finals, i.e. World Cup and Euro, if he is to be selected in the match. He will become the third Spanish player to reach that tally after Casillas and Sergio Ramos. Known for making crucial contributions at crucial moments, Spain will be counting on their veteran player to help them out.