Line-ups: Portugal-Spain

New boss Fernando Hierro overloads the midfield for Spain's 2018 World Cup opener against Portugal this evening.

Spain's preparations for the Russian showpiece were thrown into disarray after Julen Lopetegui's sacking just 24 hours before Thursday's curtain-raiser, so Hierro will oversee their campaign.

The former Real Madrid defender represented La Roja at four World Cups between 1990 and 2002 and had been the Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) sporting director.

His first XI sees him play it safe, lining up with David de Gea in goal, Nacho Fernandez and Jordi Alba at full-back and Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique in central defence.

Further afield, Sergio Busquets and Koke form a double pivot for David Silva, Isco and Andres Iniesta to support lone striker Diego Costa.

As for Portugal, boss Fernando Santos names just one La Liga-based player in Cristiano Ronaldo up top, as well as ex-Madrid defender Pepe and Goncalo Guedes, who impressed on loan at Valencia last season.

The Iberian neighbours have met on 35 previous occasions, with Spain winning 17 of them, among them a 1-0 victory over the Selecao at the last-16 stage of Brazil 2010.

The two nations also launched a joint-bid to host the 2018 World Cup and were only pipped to the post by Russia.

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Portugal: Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; William, Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes; Bernardo, Ronaldo, Guedes

Spain: De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Costa

Referee: Rocchi (ITA)

Tags 2018 World Cup Portugal Spain