MX23RW : Friday, June 18 09:59:34| >> :120:5174:5174:

Preview: Spain vs. Portugal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's international friendly between Spain and Portugal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Spain and Portugal will begin their preparations for their respective Euro 2020 campaigns when they lock horns in an international friendly on Friday night.

La Roja will take on Sweden in their European Championships opener on June 14, while Portugal are preparing for the start of their tournament, which sees them face Hungary on June 15.


Match preview

Spain head coach Luis Enrique pictured on March 25, 2021© Reuters

It is going to be fascinating to see how Spain perform in this summer's European Championships, with head coach Luis Enrique leading the team into a new era. A lot of the major stars are no longer available for selection, with a number of younger players being given chances to make their mark at this level.

As mentioned, La Roja will open their Euro 2020 campaign against Sweden on June 14, before also taking on Poland and Slovakia in Group E. In truth, the section should be relatively straightforward for a team of Spain's ilk, but this is not the side that won Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.

Enrique's team have made a strong start to their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign, picking up seven points from their three matches against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.

Spain, as mentioned, have won two of the last three European Championships, but they failed to make an impression at Euro 2016, being eliminated in the round of 16 by Italy.

La Roja will now take on Portugal and Lithuania on June 4 and June 8 respectively before tackling on Sweden in Seville, and it is going to be very interesting to see how the major European sides are shaping up in the lead up to Euro 2020.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos pictured on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Portugal, meanwhile, are gearing up for the start of their European Championships, which sees them take on Hungary in Budapest on June 15.

Group F is absolutely fascinating, with France and Germany also present in the section. Third spot could be enough to make the round of 16, but Portugal will not want to take any chances, and Fernando Santos's side will be more than confident of mixing it with the best teams in the competition.

A Selecao are the holders of the trophy, having beaten France in the 2016 final, while they also reached the semi-finals in 2012, losing to eventual winners Spain on penalties.

Santos's team are expected to make a big impression on this summer's tournament considering their quality and experience, and they will be desperate to open their campaign with a victory over Hungary on June 15 ahead of two tough matches against Germany and France on June 19 and June 23 respectively.

Portugal, like Spain, have also made a strong start to their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign, collecting seven points from their three Group A matches against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg.

Spain International Friendlies form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Spain form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Portugal International Friendlies form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Portugal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo pictured on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Robert Sanchez is one of two uncapped players in the Euro 2020 squad, but it has been widely reported that the 23-year-old will be given the chance to start between the sticks against Portugal with a view to potentially being given the nod for the clash with Sweden on June 14.

Marcos Llorente is expected to start at right-back for La Roja, while there are also likely to be positions in the XI for Eric Garcia, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba and Pedri.

Enrique has plenty of decisions to make further forward, but Gerard Moreno - off the back of an excellent season for Villarreal - is in a strong position to start, while Ferran Torres and Mikel Oyarzabal should also feature as part of a front three for the warm-up clash.

As for Portugal, there is a chance that Manchester City duo Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva - certain starters at Euro 2020 - could feature on the bench due to their involvement in the Champions League final, but Joao Cancelo was not involved for the Premier League champions and should therefore be in the first XI.

Diogo Jota made his return from injury as a late substitute in Liverpool's final match of the 2020-21 Premier League season, meanwhile, and the 24-year-old should be in the starting side here.

Joao Felix could join Jota and Cristiano Ronaldo in the final third of the field, while Danilo and Joao Moutinho could start in midfield to give Bruno Fernandes licence to break forward.

Spain possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; M Llorente, Garcia, P Torres, Alba; Koke, Busquets, Pedri; F Torres, Moreno, Oyarzabal

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Cancelo, Pepe, Fonte, Mendes; Danilo, Fernandes, Moutinho; Jota, Ronaldo, Felix


SM words green background

We say: Spain 1-1 Portugal

The result is not important on Friday night, but neither manager will want to suffer a damaging defeat this close to the start of the European Championships; we are expecting an entertaining match but have ultimately settled on a low-scoring draw in Madrid.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Spain vs Portugal

Spain
26.0%
Draw
18.9%
Portugal
55.0%
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