Portugal vs spain
Portugal vs Spain Reuters

Spain would have started their opening match of the Fifa World Cup 2018 as the clear favourites, but after the manager issues they have had to deal with leading up to this Group B match, it isn't quite as clear as day anymore.

Portugal, no doubt, being the European champions, would have already fancied their chances against this Spain side, but now, considering what has gone on, they will be a little bit more confident of getting a positive result and taking control of the group, that also has Morocco and Iran.

So, just how will this Portugal vs Spain match go?

Here is a prediction.

First half:

Spain, as expected, have early control of the ball, but Portugal's defence is difficult to breach. The Portuguese also look quite dangerous on the counter, with Cristiano Ronaldo missing a couple of really presentable chances.

However, as the chances keep coming to Portugal, Ronaldo puts his third really good opportunity away, a powerful header off a cross from the full-back Raphael Guerreiro.

With Portugal opening the scoring, Spain show a little bit more urgency in possession, leading to Diego Costa working the goalkeeper, after a delightful through ball from David Silva.

Despite half-chances to Isco and Silva, Spain go into the dressing room 1-0 down at half-time.

Second half:

Spain look much more purposeful in the second half – Fernando Hierro has clearly had a few words to say at half-time – and that leads to two quickfire chances, with Costa hitting the post from close-range, before Isco is unable to turn in the rebound, just missing the target.

The momentum is entirely with Spain now, with Ronaldo cutting a frustrated figure as he gets further and further isolated with Portugal defending deeper and deeper.

But, just when it looks like it is only a matter of time before Spain equalise, Portugal have a wonderful chance at the other end, with Bernardo Silva left open six yards from goal. The Manchester City playmaker hits the target as well, but David De Gea, somehow, gets a fingertip to it to turn the ball past the post. It is one of those ridiculous physics-defying saves that De Gea seems to make often.

Spain recollect themselves, and inspired by that insane save, they press forward again, and with 12 minutes left, they finally get the equaliser they deserve.

Iniesta plays Jordi Alba down the left, with the left-back's cross, half-cleared by the Portuguese defence. However, the ball falls nicely on the edge of the box to Thiago, who fires in a low bullet through a forest of legs, that smashes into the bottom corner.

After leading for so long, now Portugal are in danger of getting nothing out of the match as they are pushed deeper and deeper by the Spanish attackers. Iniesta, again, carves out another chance, but this time the final strike is wide, while a Costa header is well saved by Rui Patricio.

A couple more chances come, but Portugal, just about, stop the ball from hitting their net as the match ends in a 1-1 draw.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Global live stream and TV listings

Singapore: StarHub TV and StarHub Go

UK: ITV1.

USA: Fox and Telemundo.

Russia: VGTRK

Middle East: Bein Sports.