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 By Derek Bilton

Cristiano Ronaldo hunting goals for Portugal, Spain's tough test

A look at the best bets ahead of more Confederations Cup action ...

Ronaldo on target in goal fest?

Russia got their campaign off to a solid start after a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday. However, they face a real test of their credentials on Wednesday when they host European champions Portugal.

Fedor Smolov ran the show against the All Whites, as Russia played some fluent, attacking football in front of a partisan home crowd. A much sterner test comes in Moscow on Wednesday against Portugal, with the hosts chalked up as a 16/5 chance with bet365. 

Portugal drew 2-2 with Mexico in their opening game, and while they looked decent going forward they also looked vulnerable at the back, never more so than when Hector Moreno popped up in stoppage time to salvage a point for El Tri.

Stanislav Cherchisov's men will pose their defence similar problems but this is an experienced Portugal side with a decent mix of youth and old heads. Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score against Mexico but put in a real shift while Nani also played well down the flanks.

Coach Fernando Santos has options ahead of Wednesday's game but as ever Portugal's fate could be in Ronaldo's hands. The Real Madrid striker has scored 73 goals in 140 international appearances and naturally he heads the betting in the first goalscorer stakes. It could be an open game in Moscow between two teams who like to get forward.

Portugal have scored 22 goals in six World Cup qualifiers so the advice is to punt the 3/1 with bet365 on there being over 3.5 goals in the game.

Spain's tough test

Elsewhere, the pick of the European Championship Under-21 action in midweek sees Spain face against Portugal on Tuesday in a potential classic.

The Portuguese dominated their qualifying campaign, going unbeaten in 10 matches and averaging 3.4 goals per game during. In Renato Sanches they have one of the brightest young talents in the world game and the young Bayern Munich star came off the bench on Saturday to provide a crucial assist to wrap things up as Portugal beat Serbia 2-0. Sanches was named Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016 so clearly looks a player to keep an eye on in Poland.

The Spanish have won this competition four times and stuck five without reply past Macedonia on Saturday. Star of the show was Marco Asensio, who scored a classy hat trick in Gdynia as he cemented his claim as one of the most exhilarating young players in the game. They aren't one man team though, with both Sandro Ramirez and Marcos Llorente catching the eye in their Group B opener.

Spain are an excellent side but Portugal's recent form like cannot be ignored and they look monster value to win at 3/1 with bet365.

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