World Cup Round of 16 Tactical Analysis: Spain vs Russia

For our second tactical analysis, we take a look at Spain versus Russia, the third match of FIFA World Cup Round of 16. The favorites Spain will face the host Russia in what the latter’s first real test as a team.


Russia will have a 4-2-3-1 formation with full backs pushing aggressively. Their central midfielders are crucial as the full backs push high to win the ball back wide. They will then form a flexible circle of markers in the center to block opposition, which will make passing hard to pass through them



Spain will have a 3-3-3-1 Formation with the full backs pushing up when in position. Their center backs will play defense and there’s an array of talents in the midfield. Their weakness is on the center back, defending opponents with quick forward options can break their defense.

Sergei Ignashevich vs Diego Costa


Diego Costa will have no problem  with defender Sergey Ignashevich once their midfielders get pass the tight defense of Russia around the center.

Alexey Miranchuk vs Saul

during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Semi Final match between Spain and Italy at Krakow Stadium on June 27, 2017 in Krakow, Poland.

Saul will control the midfield alongside his other teammates. The flexible circle of Russia which includes Alexey Miranchukmaking passing impossible will be no problem to Saul.

Artem Dzyuba vs Gerard Pique

69927-enpipwburw-1506918581Gerard Pique will have no problem defending their post with Artem Dzyuba who is Russia’s lead attack but with little skill.

Aleksandr Golovin vs Nacho

Aleksandr-Golovin-979271Golovin plays the central play making role, starting on left and adding thrust to Russia attack. But he’ll be no match with Nacho once he switch as striker.

russia vs spain


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