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World Cup Match Day 7 Preview: Portugal, Spain seek victories in second matches


With all 32 counties already one match into their respective group stages, the 2018 FIFA World Cup rolls on Wednesday.

After a thrilling 3-3 draw last Friday, both Portugal and Spain will seek the full three points as they face lower-ranked competition on Match Day 7. Portugal will face Morocco, while Spain battles Iran.

Sandwiched between those two matches, Uruguay will face a Saudi Arabia side that was plastered by Russia in their opener last Thursday.

Here’s a look ahead at Matchday 7 of the 2018 World Cup:

Portugal vs. Morocco – 8 a.m. (FS1, Telemundo)

Cristiano Ronaldo carried Portugal to a point in their 3-3 draw vs. Spain, and the Real Madrid star will look to help his side to their first win of this World Cup next. Portugal face off with Morocco in their second match, and will expect for a much easier time. Ronaldo leads the tournament with three goals scored so far, and is on good form. Morocco is coming off a heartbreaking defeat to Iran, where an own goal doomed them to the loss. Midfielder Hakim Ziyech is a playmaker for Morocco and is coming off an impressive domestic campaign with Ajax.

Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia – 11 a.m. (Fox, Telemundo)

Uruguay faces Saudi Arabia in Rostov on Wednesday and will seek a dominant performance against one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament. A stoppage time winner by Atletico’s Jose Gimenez sealed a win over Egypt in their opener, but expect Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez to get more chances in this match. Saudi Arabia were thrashed by Russia 5-0 in their opener last week and will need to tighten it up defensively against a deadly Uruguayan attack for any chance of earning a point.

Iran vs. Spain – 2 p.m. (Fox, Telemundo)

Iran may be leading Group B following their dramatic win over Morocco but they will face a tougher test in their second group stage match. Alireza Jahanbakhsh is the danger man for Iran after a 21 goal season with Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie. Diego Costa led Spain with a brace in their first match and expect the Atletico striker to continue his success on Wednesday. Costa’s physicality should pose problems for an Iran backline who isn’t used to playing against this type of talent. Defensively, Spain will need to limit Iran to long range efforts and little possession.

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