Preview: Spain v Morocco

Spain will be looking to finish their group-stage campaign undefeated when they take on winless Morocco at Kaliningrad Stadium on Monday. 

2018 FIFA World Cup
25 June 2018
Group B
Kick-off: 20:00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Kaliningrad Stadium

Referee: R. Irmatov
Assistants: A. Rasulov, J. Saidov
Fourth official: M. Abdulla

Players to watch:

Spain are blessed with a star-studded squad that contains some of the finest players in the world, but Diego Costa has stood tall amongst his peers after the opening two games.

The Brazilian-born striker has netted three times and will look to continue where he left off against Iran. Costa surely also has an eye on winning the Golden Boot at the global showpiece.

Captain Medhi Benatia has played his heart out for Morocco, who have been regarded as unlucky after losing by a single goal in their first two matches.

Benatia and co will be playing to salvage their pride against Spain and will want to cause an upset as they make their way back home following an early exit from the tournament.

Team form and manager quotes:

La Furia Roja played out to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Portugal in their opening game, having allowed their Iberian neighbours to get back into the contest with a late equaliser from Cristiano Ronaldo.

They gave a better performance against Iran, but were made to sweat for the three points which was secured by a solitary goal from Costa.

Spain head coach Fernando Hierro is aware that the job is not yet done and has called on his players to dig deep against the Moroccans.

“We just have to make a great match, get the three points and if we can qualify as first, better,” Hierro told journalists.

The Atlas Lions are still winless going into their last group encounter after losing to Iran and Portugal, and head coach Herve Renard is disappointed that his team have been eliminated at the group stage.

The Frenchman has vowed to review his future with the North Africans, but wants to go out of the tournament with a bang.

“When I come home, I’ll consider that I did not succeed in my mission,” Renard told a press conference. “We’ll play this match as if we were playing for qualification.”

Team news:

Hierro is expected to keep the same team that won against Iran, but might decide to rest Sergio Busquets, who is at risk of suspension if gets booked against Morocco.

Renard is likely to name a strong team as well in an effort to end the tournament on a high.