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Spain prepare for last-16 test

RUSSIA 2018: David Silva could start for Spain in their last-16 game against Russia

RUSSIA 2018: David Silva could start for Spain in their last-16 game against Russia

David Silva’s Spain will look to make it through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup when they take on Russia this afternoon.

Spain, winners in 2010 and unbeaten since Euro 2016, topped a difficult Group B and now face a big obstacle in the shape of the hosts, who will be backed by a partisan crowd in Luzhniki.

In the evening match, Croatia take on Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod.

The winners from today’s matches will face each other in the quarter-finals in Sochi next weekend. 

The knock-out phase started in dramatic fashion on Saturday.

The early kick-off saw a World Cup classic ensue as France defeated Argentina 4-3.

Nicolas Otamendi played the full 90 minutes and Sergio Aguero came off the bench in the second half as Argentina looked to get back into the game.

Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring from the spot after the brilliant Kylian Mbappe was upended inside the box by Marcos Rojo.

But Angel Di Maria’s stunning long-range effort saw Argentina draw level, before Gabriel Mercado’s fortunate goal put them ahead.

Benjamin Pavard scored a wonderful half-volley to equalise, and then Mbappe, superb throughout, became the first teenager to score two in a World Cup match since Pele netted twice for Brazil against Sweden in the 1958 final to put France 4-2 ahead.

Aguero’s fine header set up a tense finish, but France held on to progress to the last eight.

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And Uruguay, impressive throughout the tournament, knocked Bernardo Silva’s Portugal out of the competition after a 2-1 win.

Edinson Cavani's header gave Uruguay the lead after seven minutes, but Pepe equalised 10 minutes after half-time to set up an intriguing contest.

But Cavani struck again late on with a sensational first-time finish into the bottom corner to see Oscar Tabarez’s side through to the next round.

It’s the World Cup that keeps on giving…

Saturday’s results:

France 4-3 Argentina

Uruguay 2-1 Portugal

Sunday’s fixtures:

Spain v Russia – 3pm BBC One

Croatia v Denmark – 7pm ITV

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