Today’s Predictions: Morocco Vs Iran
Morocco 0 – 0 Iran
The third match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is between Morocco and Iran
- Date : 15th June 2018
- Time : 8:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Sochi Stadium
In the third match of the tournament, North African side Morocco take on the Middle East’s strongest team Iran. With Spain and Portugal yet to play in their group, this match could be the perfect opportunity for either one of these sides to get an early lead in the group and put pressure on the two favourites.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Morocco breezed through their CAF Qualifying group without conceding a single goal. However, they drew their first 4 matches 0-0, before finally finding their rhythm and scoring 9 goals in their last 2 matches. A 3-0 victory over Gabon ensured their qualification ahead of the favourites Ivory Coast.
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.
Morocco have been in stellar form over the last few months. With 5 wins and 1 draw in their last 6 games. They managed consecutive impressive victories against Serbia, Uzbekistan, Ivory Coast and South Korea, to prove they are no lightweights going into this tournament. Their most recent victory came against Slovakia this month. They have scored 11 goals and conceded just 3 in their last 6 matches.
Iran have 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.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have never met in a recognized match before.
Morocco’s young forward Mimoun Mahi was controversially dropped from the World Cup squad amidst high criticism. The rest of the team is filled with several players who were born outside the country but are eligible to play due to their ancestors being from the North African nation. In fact, 17 of the 23 players going to the world cup were born outside the country. The team has the perfect mix of youngsters and experienced veterans, and are hopeful of a good showing.
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 get an early advantage in the group stages.
Players To Watch Out For
Morocco have some brilliant footballers on their roster, none more so than captain Mehdi Benatia, who has played for two of Europe’s biggest clubs and is currently plying his trade for Juventus. Along with veteran defensive midfielder Karim El Ahmadi, Benatia was one of the major reasons behind Morocco’s excellent defensive record in the Qualifiers. Their main striker Hakim Ziyech recently won the Dutch Footballer Of The Year award after a prolific season for Ajax.
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.
Morocco Vs Iran Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- Morocco are favourites to win this clash, considering their form and team chemistry currently. Iran are outsiders in this opening clash, though they are capable of pulling off a surprise.
- Morocco are playing in their first world cup in the last 20 years, while Iran played the 2014 World Cup as well, noticeably holding Argentina to the wire before a late Lionel Messi winner broke their hearts.
- With both teams boasting of exemplary defensive records, we highly recommend betting on the under 2.5 goals market.
- Hakim Ziyech to score the first goal is also an attractive bet, considering Morocco base their gameplay to get the best out of their star striker.
Both teams had very strong qualifying campaigns, and both rely on their solid defensive unit to succeed. Hence, we don’t expect a lot of goals in this match, but we think Morocco will slightly edge it.
Our Predicted Scoreline: Morocco 1 – 0 Iran