Portugal head coach Fernando Santos does not believe Julen Lopetegui's sacking will have an impact on Friday's World Cup blockbuster in Sochi as he expects more of the same from Spain.
Spain's World Cup preparations unravelled on Wednesday after Lopetegui was relieved of his duties having agreed to replace Zinedine Zidane at European champions Real Madrid.
Former captain Fernando Hierro will step into the dugout for the Group B showdown at Fisht Stadium, however, Santos and the Euro 2016 champions are not anticipating any surprises from their neighbours.
"It is going to be the opening game between two great teams," Santos said during Thursday's news conference. "We are going to have Fernando Hierro.
"I'm not going to say good luck but I hope they have a great tournament. All the rest is not going to count for the game. Spain will be trying to win and they believe they can."
Pressed further on Lopetegui's departure in front of a packed media contingent, Santos added: "It's Spain and Portugal. Spain has played like that for 10 years. There isn't going to be surprises. Therefore what is important is the team who will play. No more than that."
Midfielder Joao Moutinho was sat alongside Santos and the 31-year-old followed a similar tone when asked about Spain's preparations without Lopetegui.
"Positive [effect on Portugal] maybe? Spain have prepared themselves best possible way," Moutinho said. "They have been preparing for a few weeks. This change won't really alter the way they play. They will stick to what they've been doing throughout qualifying.
"We expect a strong team and very united. We have a very good team, a quality team. We'd like to reach victory which is what we're aiming at."
Santos was also quizzed on superstar captain and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo amid uncertainty over his future at Madrid.
Ronaldo hinted at a possible departure following Madrid's third successive Champions League triumph, sparking speculation of a possible return to Manchester United or a switch to Paris Saint-Germain.
When asked about Ronaldo and his frame of mind heading into the first game of the showpiece tournament, Santos said: "He is an extraordinary captain. Extraordinary player as you know.
"He is very positive and decisive influence albeit on the pitch or off it. He is an important figure. More important than him or myself is the team. The team is important. He deals with it perfectly."
13. Dezember 2018
|Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fixtures among latest Ligue 1 cancellations|
|Santos turn to ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli|
|Muller could miss Champions League last 16 after Tagliafico kick|
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|
|Champions League draw: The possible last-16 ties|
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|
|Lyon star Fekir shares plaudits for Champions League progression|
|Mourinho not surprised by United´s defeat to Valencia|
|Motivation no issue for Benfica, claims Vitoria|
|Lewandowski finishes Champions League group stage as top scorer|
|Mourinho: We scored two goals and lost 2-1!|
|England have a diamond - Guardiola hails City´s Foden|
|Sterling´s carefree display invites us to love football more than others hate|
12. Dezember 2018
|Juventus achieved their objective, despite everything going wrong – Allegri|
|Never say never - Schmidt not ruling out All Blacks role|
|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
|Ajax 3 Bayern Munich 3: Kovac´s men clinch top spot in Amsterdam thriller|
|Valencia 2 Manchester United 1: Jones scores own goal as Red Devils limp through|
|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
|WATCH: Rooney backs Rocky ahead of Canelo showdown|
|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|
|Hansen hails outstanding Ben Smith ahead of Pau switch|
|Foden, Sterling start for Manchester City v Hoffenheim|
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|