The last two European champions face off on Friday with Spain – suddenly and dramatically under new management – taking on Portugal in what is the first of many heavy-weight clashes at this year’s World Cup.
Spain will be confident of having enough to pip their Iberian neighbours to top spot in Group B, even after coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked on Wednesday morning after accepting the Real Madrid job following the tournament in Russia.
But with Andrés Iniesta, Diego Costa, Isco, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba and plenty more besides La Roja, winners in 2010, have more than enough to get past Portugal even without their coach.
Opening group matches have a tendency to be tetchy but this meeting could be one of the highlights of the opening round of group games.
Our unique algorithm has predicted the Spain side it believes will start the game.
Football Whispers uses data to predict teams’ starting XIs, taking into account injuries, suspensions, the statistical likelihood of a player being selected, the competition the match is in, players’ previous performances and the opponent’s style.
And you can also give it a go yourself. Just click ‘create your own’ on the line-up at the top of the page and pick your ideal XI for the game. You can also see each player’s stats once you’ve selected them.
When you’re happy with your team, press confirm and you’ll be able to share it with your friends via social media.