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All eyes on Spain and Portugal

CRUNCH TIME: Bernardo Silva and David Silva are both set to be in World Cup action later today

CRUNCH TIME: Bernardo Silva and David Silva are both set to be in World Cup action later today

With the 2018 World Cup finals having officially passed the halfway point, the business end of the tournament gets under way later today as the group stages start to reach a conclusion.

The final standings in both Group A and Group B will be determined with the City-focus very much trained on the latter of those groups with both David Silva and Bernardo Silva expected to figure for Spain and Portugal respectively.

Going into the final matches, Spain and Portugal share top-spot with four points apiece but have work to do to seal their place in the knockout stages.

Spain’s final group game sees them take on Morocco who are bottom without a point and already resigned to going home.

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Portugal, meanwhile, tackle Iran who lie just a point behind the two European giants and have everything to play for.

Both games kick-off simultaneously at 7pm UK time with the Spain clash being staged in Kaliningrad and Portugal playing in Saransk.

Meanwhile in Group A, hosts Russia entertain Uruguay in Samara with both teams already assured of a place in the last 16, the game will determine who goes through as table-toppers.

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Also-rans Saudi Arabia and Egypt meet in Volgograd where the only prize at stake will be that of pride.

Sunday’s action was dominated by England’s historic 6-1 thrashing of Panama in Group G.

The win not only sealed the Three Lions’ place in the last-16 but was also the nation’s biggest margin of victory at any World Cup. 

City’s John Stones opened the scoring with a terrific header and bagged a brace of goals with skipper Harry Kane claiming a hat-trick, to make it five goals in two games, with Jesse Lingard also on target.

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There were two entertaining clashes in Group G where, first, Japan and Senegal maintained their unbeaten starts by sharing the spoils in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

In the day’s late game, Colombia got their campaign up and running with an impressive 3-0 victory over Poland to condemn the East Europeans to elimination and boost their own hopes of progressing.

Sunday’s results

Group G 

England 6-1 Panama

Group H

Senegal 2-2 Japan

Colombia 3-0 Poland

Monday’s fixtures

Group A

Uruguay v Russia ( ITV 3pm)

Saudi Arabia v Egypt (ITV 4 3pm)

Group B

Spain v Morocco (BBC 7pm)

Portugal v Iran (BBC 7pm)


Media Watch

Media Watch: Stones reveals World Cup inspiration

WORLD BEATER: John Stones is saluted by his England colleagues after scoring his second goal against Panama

It’s the morning after England’s biggest-ever win at the World Cup finals so it’s no surprise to find the Three Lions’ 6-1 demolition job on Panama hogging the headlines.

All the latest from Monday's back pages...

Men's Team

Stones at the double as England hit Panama for six

STAR ON SUNDAY: John Stones starts to celebrate with his England colleagues after heading home his first goal against Panama

Manchester City defender John Stones scored a superb brace of goals as England powered through to the last-16 of the World Cup finals with a 6-1 thumping of Panama.

Manchester City defender heads in brace of goals as England hit Panama for six to seal place in last-16 of the World Cup finals

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