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Iran vs Portugal Preview and Predictions

 

Iran are playing in their fifth World Cup finals but have yet to make it beyond the first round stage.  On Monday evening they have the opportunity to make history by defeating Portugal and qualifying for the Round of 16.

The final Group B matches will be played simultaneously on Monday night and the other match in the group sees Spain play Morocco.  The result of that match is almost irrelevant as both teams know a win in this game will be enough to see the winner progress.

Iran came into this World Cup with little hope of getting out of the group. Having been drawn with Spain, Portugal and Morocco, they were the favourites to finish bottom.  A last gasp winner against Morocco in their opening game changed all that and Iran entered the game with Spain knowing a point would put them in the driving seat.

Despite a very good performance, Iran could not hold out for the draw and conceded an unfortunate goal to Diego Costa early in the second half.  However, the performance will give the Iran players plenty of confidence ahead of this game with Portugal and they will believe they can give the European champions a run for their money.

Iran have seen under 2.5 goals scored in twelve of their last thirteen World Cup games and like to keep it tight in games.

Portugal opened their 2018 World Cup campaign with their toughest match in the group, against Spain. Despite leading the game twice, Portugal fell 3-2 behind to the Spanish before Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up with a tremendous last minute free-kick to rescue a point for this team.

 

Ronaldo was at it again in the match against Morocco and scored with an early header from a corner to give Portugal an early lead.  Morocco struggled to break down the Portuguese defence and although Portugal did not extend their lead, they remained in control for much of the game.

 

Portugal have kept a clean sheet in six of their last eight World Cup games and will be aiming to extend that record following the 3 goals they conceded against Spain.

Team news and Iran have doubts over Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Roozbeh Cheshmi.  The former is a very important player for Iran and they will be hoping he is fit to take his place on the right side of a five man midfield.

Portugal have everyone available for this game and there is competition for places on the left side of midfield, with Bruno Fernandes and Joao Mario competing for a place in the team.  Raphael Guerreiro endured a tough time at left-back against Morocco but is set to keep his place in the team.

Iran vs Portugal Preview and Predictions:

draw

Under 2.5 goals