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World Cup Guide: Group B

World Cup Guide: Group B

Your round up of every team playing in Russia 2018 continues with Group B. You can catch all the action live at Topgolf.

Portugal

Portugal shocked an entire continent by winning the 2016 European Championship and with Cristiano Ronaldo still at the peak of his powers, manager Fernando Santos will feel confident of at least qualifying for the knockout stages.

Source: 'Portugal national team' is licensed by CC 3.0

That’s not to say Portugal are over reliant on Cristiano; who could forget his team-mates grinding to victory over France (and a few hundred moths) after he limped off injured in the Euros final? The likes of Bernardo Silva and Moutinho are also big names, not to mention the quality of Joao Mario and Andre Silva. Such attacking options should make Portugal one of the most entertaining teams in the tournament.

Spain

Iniesta and Co. might not make up the supreme footballing side that Spain were in the early 2010s, but take them lightly at your peril; from David De Gea in goal to Alvaro Morata/Diego Costa up top with the likes of Pique, David Silva and Iniesta himself in between, the Iberians still have world-class quality throughout.

Source: Andres Iniesta and Claudio Marchisio Euro 2012 final by Simon82 is licensed by CC 3.0

And let’s not forget about the still emerging talents of Isco and Real team-mate Marcus Asensio. Remember when international tournaments used to be the making of a new star every two years? The defining player of this summer’s World Cup could well be a Spanish one.

Iran

A still-developing football country Iran might be, but under former Fergie assistant Carlos Queiroz, a well-organised, disciplined side have emerged. The strength of the Iranian game has also improved exponentially following a greater number of players plying their trade in Europe.

Source: Sardar Azmoun by Mahmoud Hosseini is licensed by CC 4.0

The likes of Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan) and Saman Ghoddos (Ostersund) will want to prove a point on the biggest stage of all - but whether desire and defensive tenacity is enough to see off Spain and Portgual is another matter.

Morocco

Back at the World Cup for the first time since ‘98, the Atlas Lions are another underdog team built on tight defence; Morocco qualified without conceding a single goal. And Manager Hervé Renard is no stranger to an upset, having led Zambia to an incredible African Cup of Nations victory in 2012.

Source: Angoloa vs Morocco 2013 AFCON by Magharebia is licensed by CC 2.0

Many of Morocco’s players were born in Europe to Moroccan parents; not that that has wilted the nation’s enthusiasm for their success. The majority of the squad hail from Holland, France and Spain, making this a truly international team.

GROUP B FIXTURES LIVE AT TOPGOLF

Morocco vs Iran - 15/06 - 4PM
Portugal vs Spain - 15/06 - 7PM
Portugal vs Morocco - 20/06 - 1PM
Iran vs Spain - 20/06 - 7PM
Iran vs Portugal - 25/06 - 7PM
Spain vs Morocco - 25/06 - 7PM 

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