Uruguay's Luis Suarez will be a key man tonight. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

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Night two of competition in the 2018 World Cup sees matches take place in Group A and B.

Egypt do battle with Uruguay prior to Morocco clashing with Iran in Saint Petersburg. Following that, the heavyweights come out to play when Portugal meet Spain in one of the most appealing and juicy clashes in the group stage.

The tournament has begun with a bang and the excitement has stretched across the globe. Now it is time for the football to shine and the Socceroos’ first match is just a day away.

Good luck with your selections as the voice of the crowd and don’t forget to enter them in the sheet below to engage in the World Cup conversation.

Here is how the experts see the first full night of competition unfolding.

Stuart Thomas

Uruguay, Draw, Portugal
I feel Uruguay may have the coziest draw of all and cannot see any of their opponents in the group stage causing them any trouble. Edinson Cavani could set himself up for Golden Boot honours on the back of the group stage alone. I expect to see multiple goals in this one and with Mo Salah absent, they won’t be credited to the Egyptians.

Morocco versus Iran is not a game I had pencilled in as a clash of the titans, yet for both teams it is an enormous opportunity to gain three valuable points. If either are to grab second spot in the group, this is a must win. It has me baffled and thus a draw seems likely.

In direct comparison, the Portugal versus Spain clash could be epic. With some claiming there is little substance to Portugal beyond Cristiano Ronaldo, the sheer quality in the Spanish squad should prove too strong for the 2016 European Champions? On a gut instinct, I say no. I am tipping a huge upset and Portugal to further derail the early moments of Spain’s World Cup campaign.

Mike Tuckerman

Uruguay, Morocco, Spain
No Salah, no chance? Egypt look almost certain to miss their talisman, while Uruguayan strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani could run riot here. The South Americans should prevail.

Morocco’s first finals appearance since 1998 means they’ll be fired up for their return, while Iran possess plenty of passion but might be short on quality. Morocco in a close one.

I’m not convinced by Spain, although they’ll have learnt from their disastrous 2014 campaign. Portugal aren’t necessarily a one-man show, but Spain might have too much talent here.

Spain's Isco celebrates.

(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Daniel Jeffrey

Uruguay, Morocco, Spain
Uruguay should have no issues dominating this weak Group A. For Egypt, a lot rests on the shoulders of Mohamed Salah. At the time of writing, we don’t know whether the superstar winger is going to be fit to play, but really, it shouldn’t matter. Uruguay are the far stronger team, particularly up front, and should notch a comfortable victory.

Neither Morocco nor Iran are much of a chance of progressing from Group B, and this encounter looms as the only realistic opportunity of grabbing a win in Russia. I’ll take Morocco – they bring decent form into this one, and the step up in class will be too much for Iran.

Portugal have had wretched luck in World Cup draws recently; they faced Germany in 2014, Brazil in 2010 and now they have to face Spain in their opening match in Russia. It’s a terribly difficult way to kick off their campaign (or at least it was before Julen Lopetegui was shown the door on Wednesday night), and while it should be a great game La Roja will be too good for Cristiano Ronaldo and co.

Tim Palmer

Draw, draw, Spain
Egypt and Uruguay are more evenly matched than you might expect, although Mohamed Salah’s absence is predictably a big blow for the former. Both teams are solid defensively, which might make this more a slog than entertainment.

Iran surprised many with their competitiveness at the last World Cup, and Carlos Quieroz is an excellent organiser who can make his teams very hard to beat. However, I feel they lack the attacking quality to have outlets on the counter. In another tight game in a tight group, there might be limited moments of creative inspiration but plenty of disciplined, organised defending, if you like that sort of thing.

I thought Portugal versus Spain would produce the first winner of the tournament – but that was before Julian Lopetegui’s surprise sacking. I think Spain have an extraordinarily good squad, particularly at the back and in goals, and still feel they will win the tournament, but the turmoil surrounding the side surely won’t be helpful. They’ll win, but it’ll be very nervy against a functional but somewhat limited Portugal team.

Spain's David Silva controls the ball.

(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Paul Nicholls

Uruguay, draw, Portugal
What an interesting match-up Egypt and Uruguay promises to be. Mo Salah up against Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Can Salah carry the weight of Egypt’s hopes on his (slightly dodgy) shoulders? Expect the ubiquitous Uruguayans to upstage the funky Pharaohs.

Morocco versus Iran is a match that both teams will believe they can win and therefore give themselves a shot at the knockout rounds. Iran showed some class in the Asian qualifiers and are ranked 37th to Morocco’s 41st. It will be an entertaining drawn game.

Portugal versus Spain is probably the pick of the first round of matches. Spain’s coaching shambles just adds to the intrigue around this game and gives Portugal the edge. Can the 33-year-old Ronaldo still produce the goods? Of course he can. The plucky Portuguese should spear the stunned Spaniards.

Day 2 Stuart Mike Daniel Tim Paul The Crowd
EGY vs URU Uruguay Uruguay Uruguay Draw Uruguay Uruguay
MAR vs IRN Draw Morocco Morocco Draw Draw Morocco
POR vs ESP Portugal Spain Spain Spain Portugal Spain
Total 0 0 1 0 1 1

Tonight’s odds

Uruguay are heavy favourites to beat Egypt, starting at $1.60 compared to their opponents’ $6.50 and $3.55 for the draw. Morocco ($2.20) and Iran ($3.80) is a little closer, with the draw at $2.90, while Spain are paying $2.05 to beat Portugal despite the recent sacking of Julen Lopetegui. That has Portugal at the enticing price of $3.90, and the draw is paying $3.15.

Egypt Draw Uruguay
$6.50 $3.55 $1.60
Morocco Draw Iran
$2.20 $2.90 $3.80
Portugal Draw Spain
$3.90 $3.15 $2.05

Odds via Pointsbet are correct as of 4:25pm (AEST) Thursday, June 14.

If you want the best odds on every World Cup game (including all Socceroos matches), PointsBet is the place to bet. With Elite Odds every WC game and our Failed 3+ Leg Multi Promo, PointsBet is the best place to get your World Cup betting fix. Find out more here.

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The Crowd Says (25)

  • Roar Guru

    June 15th 2018 @ 9:30am
    Scott Pryde said | June 15th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

    Interesting to see three out of five taking Spain, even with the coach change. I reckon Portugal get it done 1-0 on the back of some Ronaldo magic.

    Uruguay is self-explanatory, then I’ll take Morocco in the other.

  • June 15th 2018 @ 2:50pm
    Realfootball said | June 15th 2018 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

    I detest the way you can’t come onto a thread like this without seeing a promotion of betting built in.

    Australians lost $23.6 billion betting between 2015 and 2016, and many of those losers are being impoverished by their addiction. That figure is rising every year.

    Everywhere you turn, this mass stupidity is being ruthlessly promoted by people and organisations culling billions. It’s like shearing sheep. The sheep never win.

    • June 15th 2018 @ 3:01pm
      Fadida said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

      What’s the matter Real? Aren’t you a “real man”? We all know real men love contact sports, betting and aggression

      • June 15th 2018 @ 3:58pm
        Fred said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

        Wow another outraged pupil just out of gender studies class.

    • June 15th 2018 @ 3:56pm
      Fred said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

      In sunny hot Australia I’d wager (no pun intended) that sheep feel a lot better after having their wool removed!

    • June 15th 2018 @ 3:57pm
      Christo the Daddyo said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

      Fair point…

    • June 15th 2018 @ 4:52pm
      Mark said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

      This website has to pay its way somehow. Would you rather it put up a paywall?

  • Roar Rookie

    June 15th 2018 @ 3:07pm
    Waz said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report


  • Columnist

    June 15th 2018 @ 3:33pm
    Mike Tuckerman said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

    My tips are cactus already and we’re only one game in.

    • June 15th 2018 @ 3:56pm
      Brian said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

      sorry but if you tipped Saudi Arabia for anything other then a beating then you are the very opposite of a football expert. You obviously missed the absolute thrashings they got in 2002 and 2006 and indeed anytime in their history they have had to play in under 35 degrees.

      • Columnist

        June 15th 2018 @ 4:28pm
        Mike Tuckerman said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

        Or maybe I’m just someone who thought Saudi Arabia might sneak a draw against Russia?

      • June 15th 2018 @ 5:01pm
        Mark said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

        I think some people tipped the Saudis because they wanted to believe they are a solid team for finishing the qualifying campaign above us.

        Fadida said it perfectly in another thread. The result showed what a good job BVM did to get them to the World Cup at all, and what a poor job Ange did for us to finish below them.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 5:21pm
          Brian said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          I agree. It also shows the advantage the Sadis get in the qualifiers because their players all play in the same league and so many games are played in high temperatures

          However when they get to the World Cup and all teams have a chance for a good preparation the gulf in class shows. We actually got 4 points out of the Saudis the problem was they were better at putting away Thailand and Iraq.

  • Roar Pro

    June 15th 2018 @ 4:02pm
    anon said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

    I was mesmerised by Lucy Zelic and Craig Foster last night.

    Lucy Zelic and her hair.

    Craig Foster and his demeanour and accent. Where have all the affectations come from? He speaks like he’s spent the past 20 years in Belgrade.

  • June 15th 2018 @ 4:05pm
    Brian said | June 15th 2018 @ 4:05pm | ! Report


    I have my doubts about CR7 form after the UCL final. At the euros Portugal drew the opening game with Iceland, At the last WC they lost 4-0 to Germany they aren’t great starters. The Spanish look good everywhere De Gea, Alba, Pique, Ramos, Odrizola, Busquets, Alicantra, Iniesta, Silva, Isco, Costa. I just don’t see a weakness in that XI.

    • June 15th 2018 @ 5:59pm
      Mark said | June 15th 2018 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

      Ronaldo will either be brilliant or he’ll be near invisible. There’s not a lot in between for him these days. That said, you can never count Portugal out because of the chance he’ll do something brilliant.

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