Julen Lopetegui’s first Spain squad for a major tournament is clearly a strong one, but whichever 23 names he picked there was always bound to be controversy due to the quality that is left out – the country have, perhaps along with Germany and Brazil, the most complete squad, with world-class talent in each area of the pitch.

The 51-year-old has a tough act to follow in Vicente del Bosque, who won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships as well as the 2010 World Cup, but he certainly has the personnel to make a real impact in Russia over the next month and a half. Juan Mata, Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata were all among players that were left disappointed despite being vastly experienced.



Here is an in-depth preview of Spain’s Group B by Tipbet, and the Iberians have just two friendly matches in which to gel before their opener, starting with Switzerland on Sunday night at the Estadio de la Cerámica in Villarreal before facing Group G hopefuls Tunisia in Krasnodar.

In the Swiss they will be up against one of the most impressive sides from the UEFA qualifying section. Despite winning nine of their 10 qualifiers, their record was equalled by Portugal who claimed top spot due to goal difference and gained automatic advancement to the finals, leaving Switzerland to beat Northern Ireland over a two-legged play-off.

They are in a relatively tricky Group E this summer along with trophy favourites Brazil, Costa Rica and Serbia. This friendly will indicate whether the Europeans have the quality to trouble the best squads; they did, of course, beat Spain in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup before the Iberians went the rest of the competition unbeaten.



Both managers may rotate their squad to ensure freshness ahead of the tournament, but Spain have the odds heavily stacked in their favour regardless – a home win is at 1.30, with a Double Chance bet (avoiding defeat) 1.05. The Swiss’s 10.5 for an away victory shows what they are up against, but they conceded just seven times in qualifying.

Tipbet.com is the place to bet on the 2018 World Cup this summer, with extensive betting markets for each of the eight groups as well as season bets.