Morocco vs Iran – Predictions, Odds & Betting Tips
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Krestovsky Stadium – Saint Petersburg
Two of the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s ‘Lesser nations’, Morocco and Iran battle it out in the opening Group B action at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.
Two previous meetings;
- 1978 – Iran 2 Morocco 0
- 2002 – Iran 1 Morocco 1
Morocco’s players are looking to perform in Group B in the country’s first trip to the World Cup in two decades.
Lacking a superstar, Morocco often finds its best players in France or Spain, where player’s parents have emigrated to. Teamwork is key and their French coach, Herve Renard is a master at building team cohesion.
Almost all of the squad wasn’t born when Morocco became the first African team to win a group at the World Cup in Mexico in 1986.
Iran should not be underestimated. Since the last World Cup, they have barely lost a match that really mattered and they have a defence that kept clean sheet after sheet through the qualification process. In addition, Ansarifard and Azmoun are fine attacking weapons for Iran.
Team Melli were the third team to seal their berth at the World Cup, behind hosts Russia and five-time champions Brazil, after securing qualification very early.
The benefit of qualifying as early as they did is extra time to prepare and get things right ahead of appearing on the biggest stage in world football.
Preview & Predictions
Given the strength of the defensive units of both teams, the draw looks to be the most likely result.
Serious punters looking for some betting value, look for the well-marshalled defences of both teams to cancel each other out (0-0 at $6.50 ).
Expect a low-scoring affair if either side is to win.
- The Iranians’ 19 fouls on Syria was the most in a qualifying match.
- Iran were the only team to go unbeaten through Asian qualifying.
- Morocco are African-Cup-of-Nations-Champions, beating Nigeria 4-0 in the final in February 2018
Morocco:Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Hamza Mendyl, Manuel da Costa, Medhi Benatia (captain), Romain Saïss, Hakim Ziyech, Karim El Ahmadi, Ayoub El Kaabi, Younès Belhanda, Fayçal Fajr, Munir Mohamedi, Khalid Boutaïb, Mbark Boussoufa, Youssef Aït Bennasser, Nordin Amrabat, Nabil Dirar, Amine Harit, Youssef En-Nesyri, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Sofyan Amrabat, Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, Mehdi Carcela.
Iran: Alireza Beiranvand, Mehdi Torabi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Rouzbeh Cheshmi, Milad Mohammadi, Saeid Ezatolahi, Masoud Shojaei (captain), Morteza Pouraliganji, Omid Ebrahimi, Karim Ansarifard, Vahid Amiri, Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri, Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, Saman Ghoddos, Pejman Montazeri, Reza Ghoochannejhad, Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Majid Hosseini, Sardar Azmoun, Ashkan Dejagah, Amir Abedzadeh, Ramin Rezaeian.