Game has ended with the score: 0 – 1 Iran and Spain lock horns in the second match in Group B at the World Cup. The Spanish will be expected to see off the weakest nation in the group, on paper at least. But Carlos Quieroz’s charges impressed during AFC qualifying and will attempt to stun the nation who won the tournament eight years ago in South Africa. Iran Draw Spain 14/1 19/4 1/4 12/1 4/1 2/11 14/1 9/2 1/4 Predictions Prior to the tournament beginning, onlookers expected Spain and Portugal to ease their way into the round of 16. But Iran’s three points against Morocco, along with the draw between Spain and Portugal, proves that these early stages won’t be a walk in the park for any nation. However, Iran were second best for long periods against the North Africans, biding their time and defending doggedly until winning a late set piece. Their plan will be the same against Spain but the 2010 winners are built perfectly to overcome such tactics. Having already exhibited some classy, fluid play against Portugal, it’s hard to see past a Spain win, which is at 1/5. Score prediction Carlos Queiroz is known for meticulously preparing the teams he manages, particularly defensively, and that was obvious in the match against Morocco. Iran conceded only twice in ten qualifiers too, so they have no problem with absorbing pressure. Their backline is unlikely to provide too many problems for a star-studded Spain, as technicians like Isco and David Silva look to build on their fine performances in the opening set of fixtures. But don’t expect a hammering. Iran haven’t been beaten by more than one goal since March 2015. A 2-0 Spain victory is at 4/1. Over/Under As stated above, Iran are not the kind of team to capitulate and the victory over Morocco will have given the entire squad great belief that they could cause a shock and qualify from the group. They’re not going to do that by opening up and attacking Spain and will try and disrupt their opponents’ rhythm instead. A cagey affair could well be in store so it could be wise to back under 2.5 goals at 11/10. Both teams to score Iran’s chances against Morocco all came on the counter attack and watching Spain’s performance later that evening may give them reason to be optimistic. On many occasions, Portugal stole possession and broke with pace, causing Fernando Hierro’s players problems. They may not have the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva at their disposal, but that’s a sliver of hope. They’ve also failed to score just once in their last 12 games. Hierro was a seasoned defender in his day, though, and will want his team to shape up at the back. Expect them to keep a clean sheet and so backing no in the both teams to score market at 4/9 should be safe. Statistics Spain’s draw with Portugal made it 21 matches without defeat Diego Costa had scored just once in 12 appearances for club and country before his double against Portugal – Diego Costa to be tournament top scorer – 9/1 Iran’s victory over Morocco was their first in the World Cup finals since 1998 Iran have scored just once against European nations at the World Cup finals in the last 40 years Aziz Bouhaddouz of Morocco became Iran’s joint record World Cup scorer after his own goal in the opening game Head-to-Head These teams have never faced each other head-to-head. World Cup Qualifiers Iran Iran topped their qualifying group and remained unbeaten as they secured their ticket to Russia with ease. Quieroz’s side won six and drew four of their ten matches in the third round. A 2-0 win at home to Uzbekistan rubber-stamped their participation in the finals. Top Goalscorers in Qualifiers Sardar Azmoun – 4 goals 750/1 World Cup Top Goalscorer – 888sport Mehdi Taremi – 3 goals 500/1 World Cup Top Goalscorer – Bet365 Spain Spain found the path to the World Cup finals quite simple, topping a group which also included Italy. Julen Loptegui guided Spain to nine victories and a draw, conceding just three times. They were rarely tested, with a 3-0 hammering of the Italians back in September 2017 confirming the inevitable. Top Goalscorers in Qualifiers Diego Costa – 5 goals 28/1 World Cup Top Goalscorer – Betfair Isco – 5 goals Why should I bet on Iran against Spain? 1×2 Iran took a late, morale-boosting win from their World Cup opener against Morocco but it’s hard to imagine a similar outcome against 2010 winners Spain. La Roja had the worst preparation possible for their opener against Portugal but were a Cristiano Ronaldo wonder goal away from three points. That should give Spain heart and they’ll benefit from a few more days of peace after the hasty exit of Julen Lopetegui last week. Iran are out to 20/1 to win and while there’s no value in Spain’s 1/7, it’s the result that is most likely. That said, the 13/2 draw would throw Group B wide open. 1st Goalscorer Diego Costa’s brace signalled his arrival at the World Cup after a disappointing display in 2014 and a tumultuous four years since. He’s 5/2 to score first but there might be more value in a player such as Gerard Pique, 17/2 and a threat from set pieces. Iran meanwhile relied on an own goal to beat Morocco but can’t be sure of similar against Spain or a David De Gea error as contributed to the draw with Portugal. Mehdi Taremi at 10/1 is worth considering for opening the scoring, as is the 15/2 Sardar Azmoun. Correct Score A second consecutive 3-3 draw seems unlikely – it’s 200/1 – but Iran would surely take a draw of any score if offered prior to kick-off. It could be backs-to-the-wall stuff for Carlos Queiroz’s side and if they hold out for 90 minutes without conceding and take a 0-0 draw, priced at 16/1, then they’ll be very satisfied indeed. Spain though need a win and will fancy their chances of a comfortable victory – dropped points means they’re facing a do-or-die final group meeting with Morocco. A 2-0 win for Spain comes in at around 4/1 and 3-0 is 5s.