World Cup 2018: Spain’s route to the final

Spain have been tipped by many to achieve World Cup glory again, but who could they face on route to the final?


REUTERS/Susana Vera

During a four-year spell between 2008 and 2012 – which included a World Cup win (2010) sandwiched between two European Championships (2008 and 2012) – the Spanish national team towered above all others. 

However, the air of invincibility they emitted eventually subsided – the 4-0 Confederations Cup defeat to Brazil in 2013 exposing a squad buckling under the weight of expectation.

The team exited the last World Cup with a whimper and the football world lamented the end of an era.

Following a rebuilding process that involved the recruitment of RFEF golden boy Julen Lopetegui as Coach, Spain have enjoyed something of a revival. They have remained unbeaten and are now keen to prove themselves at tournament level once again.

The 2018 Russia World Cup draw on Friday December 1, 2017 placed Lopetegui’s men in Group B alongside Iberian neighbours Portugal, Morocco and Iran. La Furia Roja will be expected to emerge from that group but which teams would they face in the knockout stages?

There are two routes to the World Cup final which would be determined by their finishing position in Group B.

If Spain wins Group B

If Spain wins the group, they would play the following fixtures:

Game

Day

Time

Stadium

City

1

Portugal vs. SPAIN

Friday, June 15, 2018

20:00

Fisht Olympic Stadium

Sochi

2

Iran vs. SPAIN

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

20:00

Kazan Arena

Kazan

3

SPAIN vs. Morocco

Monday, June 25, 2018

20:00

Kaliningrad Stadium

Kaliningrad

4

Round of 16

Sunday, July 1, 2018

16:00

Luzhniki Stadium

Moscow

5

Quarter-finals

Saturday, July 7, 2018

20:00

Fisht Olympic Stadium

Sochi

6

Semi-finals

Wednesday, July 11. 2018

20:00

Luzhniki Stadium

Moscow

7

Final

Saturday, July 14, 2018

17:00

Luzhniki Stadium

Moscow

Assuming the favourites progress in order during each phase, their opponents in the Round of 16 would be hosts Russia. From there, Lionel Messi’s Argentina would be waiting in the quarter-finals. Next up, would be a semi-final clash against Germany, followed by a final against Brazil.

Potential route to final #1:

Group

Round of 16

Quarter-final

Semi-final

Final

Win

Russia

Argentina

Germany

Brazil

REUTERS/Heino Kalis

If Spain finish second in Group B

If Spain finishes second in the group, they would play the following fixtures:


Game

Day

Time

Stadium

City

1

Portugal vs. SPAIN

Friday, June 15, 2018

20:00

Fisht Olympic Stadium

Sochi

2

Iran vs. SPAIN

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

20:00

Kazan Arena

Kazan

3

SPAIN vs. Morocco

Monday, June 25, 2018

20:00

Kaliningrad Stadium

Kaliningrad

4

Round of 16

Saturday, June 30, 2018

20:00

Fisht Olympic Stadium

Sochi

5

Quarter-finals

Friday, July 6, 2018

16:00

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Nichni Nóvgorod

6

Semi-finals

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

20:00

Saint Petersburg Stadium

St. Petersburg

7

Final

Saturday, July 14, 2018

17:00

Luzhniki Stadium

Moscow

Assuming the favourites progress in order during each phase, their opponents in the Round of 16 would be hosts Uruguay. From there, France would wait in the quarter-finals. Next up, would be a semi-final clash against Brazil, followed by a final against Germany.

Potential route to final #2:

Group

Round of 16

Quarter-final

Semi-final

Final

Runners-up

Uruguay

France

Brazil

Germany

Both routes look tricky and both will involve beating tournament favourites Brazil and Germany on the way to the crown - providing there are no upsets along the way.

Based on these potential routes to the final, do Spain stand a chance of winning in Russia? Let us know in the comments below. 


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Neil Morris

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Editor

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