The clash between Iran and Portugal will be played at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on June 25th. Portugal has four points, while Iran is currently sitting in the 3rd place in the group with three points, and the pressure will be on them to attack, so the Portuguese can sit back and wait for their chance to hit the Iranians on the break.
Iran vs. Portugal
Three-Way: 1: Iran +500; X: +280 Draw; 2: Portugal -152 (Odds provided by Delaware Park Sportsbook)
Spread +1: Iran -133; Portugal +127
Total 2.5 goals: Over +130; Under -167
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After defeating Morocco in the opener thanks to a huge amount of luck in the dying moments of the clash, Iran bravely fought against Spain in the second round, but this time the luck turned its back on them as they conceded a rather unorthodox and silly goal. Diego Costa was the one to put Spain ahead in the 54th minute, but only a few moments earlier, the Persian Stars missed a huge opportunity to take a lead, but Karim Ansarifard’s well-hit shot flies just wide of the left post. The Spaniards deservedly secured a narrow 1-0 win at low -500 odds, while under 2.5 goals at +110 proved to be a much better bet than playing on Spain to win.
On the other hand, Portugal didn’t impress in a duel with Morocco after a spectacular 3-3 tilt with Spain in the first round. Cristiano Ronaldo needed just four minutes to score the only goal in the match, but that was pretty much it from the Navigators as the Atlas Lions played better, but once again, they weren’t lucky and lost the second in a row with the identical result, 1-0. Portugal’s win at -143 justified their role of a favorite, but although many expected to see goals on this one, under 2.5 goals at -125 proved to be a winning bet.
Players to watch
Cristiano Ronaldo is not at the top of the goalscoring chart as Harry Kane’s hat-trick against Panama put the Englishman ahead, so now he has five, and Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku four goals. Ronaldo showed the whole world he still has a lot to offer and there is no doubt he will pose the biggest threat to the Iranians here.
Sardar Azmoun showed little at this tournament so far, and now he must improve when his nation needs him the most, so I expect Azmoun to be the go-to guy on this one. He can get past the defensive duo Pepe and Jose Fonte, and all he needs is one or two chances to hurt Portugal.
Iran: Beiranvand; Rezaeian, Hosseini, Pouraliganji, Hajsafi; Ezatolahi, Ebrahimi; Amiri, Taremi, Ansarifard; Azmoun.
Portugal: Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; Carvalho, Moutinho, Mario, Silva; Ronaldo, Guedes.
Portugal’s chances to lift the trophy in Russia are +1800, while the Navigators are +100 to make it to the quarter-finals. Iran’s chances to win the World Cup are up to +100000, while the Persian Stars are +2000 to reach the quarter-finals.
Iran will not go without a fight and if somebody knows everything about the opposition, that’s Carlos Queiroz who will try to use his knowledge about his countrymen to propel the Persian Stars to the Round of 16. However, the Portuguese have the quality and will patiently wait for their chance as it was the case in a game with Morocco. The Iranians have nothing to lose and I think the attacking strategy will give them at least a goal, so I am backing BTTS on this one.
The Pick: Both teams to score YES (+125)