Today’s Predictions: Iran vs Portugal
Iran 1 – 1 Portugal
The 36th match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between Euro 2016 Winners Portugal and Iran.
- Date : 25th June 2018
- Time 11:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Saransk Stadium.
As group B enters its third round, Portugal will be looking for a big win against their Middle Eastern counterparts as they look to overtake Spain on goal difference, while only a win for Iran will ensure that they qualify to next stage.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Portugal actually suffered a huge setback when they lost to Switzerland in their opening game of the UEFA Qualification round. However, the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from injury coincided with an amazing winning run as the team won all their remaining matches, and scored 32 goals while conceding only 2 in those 9 games. Their forwards Ronaldo and Andre Silva scored a staggering 24 goals among them.
Iran had one of the most dominant and straightforward qualifying runs of all 32 teams at the World Cup. Not only did they win their group, they did not concede a single goal till their last game, which was played after qualification had already been achieved. They were the second team to qualify for the World Cup after Brazil.
Portugal hasn’t won their last 3 matches in a row, including a damaging 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands back in March. Their only wins in their last 6 matches came against comparative minnows Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Their forwards were prolific during the qualifiers but things have calmed down in attack of late.
Iran has been in decent form themselves, with 4 wins in their last 6 matches. However, they lost their most recent game to Turkey 2-1. They scored 9 goals and conceded 5 in those 6 games. They started off the World Cup with a huge win over Morocco, courtesy of a last minute own goal, and surprisingly are the current group leaders in a group containing Spain and Portugal.
Portugal and Iran in the World Cup So Far
Portugal opened their World Cup campaign with probably the match of the tournament against Spain. As Diego Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo battled each other for supremacy, the match ended 3-3 with some beautiful goals scored by players of both these nations. Despite Spain starting much better, Portugal proved they are more than capable of cutting it with the very top teams in this tournament, and as long as Cristiano Ronaldo is in this form they do not need to worry about any other team. They won their second game 1-0 against Morocco, tying them with Spain on goal difference.
Iran faced Morocco in their opening game, and as expected, set out very defensively to try and absorb a lot of pressure and counter attack. Despite a lot of domination from Morocco, Iran held tight at the back till the last few minutes and then were gifted an own goal which led to an extremely vital and unexpected 1-0 victory. However, they lost the very next game to Spain by a narrow margin, despite defending very well.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met twice before, with Portugal winning on both occasions, with their last match being a 2-0 win for Portugal at the 2006 World Cup.
Portugal have also surprisingly dropped experienced campaigner Luis Nani, along with Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo, much to the shock of thousands of fans. Joao Cancelo and Ruben Neves are other high profile players who missed the flight to Russia. Even Eder, the player who scored the decisive goal at the 2016 Euro Final, was not selected.
Iran have no significant injury scares and would be happy to name their 23 strongest players in the World Cup squad. With a pacy and youthful attacking setup, and a solid defence along with an experienced keeper, Asia’s highest ranked team would be looking to take advantage of their brilliant start to the campaign.
Players To Watch Out For
Portugal’s main man, as expected, is one of the best footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo. Young full backs Raphael Guerreiro and Cedric Soares add much needed speed on the flanks, while Manchester City’s Barnardo Silva and Milan’s Andre Silva would be looking to share the attacking responsibilities with Ronaldo.
Iran have a plethora of young talented attacking players, with many saying this is the best Iranian side in history. Young forward Sardar Azmoun led the line brilliantly during the qualifiers, with 11 goals to his name. The ‘Iranian Messi’ is expected to take his team as far as possible. His partner Alireza Jahanbakhsh was the top scorer in the Dutch league last season, and would be looking to share the goal-scoring burden, especially after a fantastic performance in the opening game.
Portugal Vs Iran Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- Portugal are the favourites for this clash, with Cristiano Ronaldo hotly tipped to get his nation across the line. We recommend betting on Ronaldo to score first in this game.
- Iran have conceded just 1 goal till now, and defensively solid. They will be looking to frustrate Portugal and hence we advise betting on there to be under 2.5 goals in this match.
- Iran still have a chance of qualifying with a win here, while Portugal would be aiming to become just the 4th nation to win the European Championship and the World Cup consecutively.
- We recommend betting on both teams not to score, as Iran’s only goal was also an own goal, and we do not expect them to breach the Portuguese defence.
Portugal surprised the world with an amazing run at the 2016 Euro Championships, and proved their team’s grit and determination, which is one of the primary reasons we believe that Portugal will emerge as narrow winners in this fixture, despite needing to outscore Spain to finish top of their group. No one apart from Ronaldo has scored for Portugal in this tournament yet, and hence we only expect them to score once to clinch it.
Predicted Scoreline : Portugal 1-0 Iran