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Group B | Iran Vs Portugal: Preview, Lineups And Prediction As Iran Prepares For A Major Upset

Iran Vs Portugal, FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia,Iran,Russia

Group B | Iran Vs Portugal

Portugal take on Iran in climactic clash of Group B, on Match-day 3. Both teams know what they have to do in the Iran Vs Portugal game: Win. While Portugal may be guilty of resting on their laurels with four points from the two games so far; one is 3-3 draw with Spain and the other a 1-0 win against Morocco, they would absolutely want to finish top of their group to avoid a resurgent Russia in the Round of 16 clash. Iran will also have a fairly decent idea of their objective in the Iran Vs Portugal game at the Mordovia Arena.[spacer height=”30px”]

A historic progression to the Round of 16 awaits if they manage to beat Portugal. A draw would not be enough as it would mean that Morocco would have to convincingly beat Spain and do Iran an impossible favor. Currently Iran have 3 points from 2 matches while Spain and Portugal have 4 each.[spacer height=”30px”]

Head-To-Head:[spacer height=”30px”]

Interestingly, Portugal’s chief threat Ronaldo has already scored against Iran in the World Cup, doing so alongside Deco in 2006 when Portugal beat them 2-0.[spacer height=”30px”]

Also, Portugal have won three out of their four games versus Asian teams at the finals while Iran have a dismal record of 1 draw and 6 losses in their last 7 matches versus European opposition making this Iran vs Portugal fixture a relatively favourable fixture for the Europeans.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Portugal:[spacer height=”30px”]

Portugal would want to finish as leaders of Group B and for doing so, a convincing win in the Iran Vs Portugal match is required which might not such a difficult task for Cristiano Ronaldo and his colleagues.[spacer height=”30px”]

Moreover, Portugal are unbeaten in the FIFA World Cup 2018 with a win and a draw: 3-3 draw in the Portugal Vs Spain match and 1-0 win in the Portugal Vs Morocco match.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Key Players:[spacer height=”30px”]

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)[spacer height=”30px”]

Ronaldo will be angry, having fallen behind in the Golden Boot race to Harry Kane(5) and tied to Lukaku with 4 goals in 2 matches. Nevertheless, he is in sizzling form and should have an easy feast for his country in the Iran vs Portugal fixture.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Portugal though might want to withdraw him early considering they have a relatively easy match and hope to prepare for the next round. Having broken the Puskas’ record in just 4 minutes vs Morocco, don’t be surprised to see him open the scoring early again in the Iran Vs Portugal game.[spacer height=”30px”]

William Carvalho (Sporting CP)[spacer height=”30px”]

The tank and muscle of the midfield will reprise his role as the enforcer. Carvalho’s dominating performance helped them keep a clean sheet vs Morocco and he will be expected to provide some good defensive cover and win most aerial duels in order to ensure that Iran don’t slip goals past Rui Patricio in the Iran vs Portugal clash.[spacer height=”30px”]

Image result for william carvalho portugal
Image obtained via Sportlineng.com

[spacer height=”30px”]Goncalo Guedes (Paris Saint Germain)[spacer height=”30px”]

The PSG wingman/striker has had to fight for his place in the Portugal starting line-up and has kept his fellow young compatriot Andre Silva on the bench. If Portugal really want to win this entire thing, the supporting players must start contributing: chiefly with goals.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Thus, Goncalo Guedes will be desperate to score in tonight’s Iran vs Portugal match and may show us glimpses of why he is rated so highly.[spacer height=”30px”]

Predicted Line-Up:[spacer height=”30px”]

Although Moutinho is a bit ill as reported, he could still start for Portugal and come off later for Adrien Silva.[spacer height=”30px”]

Iran Vs Portugal, FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia
Predicted Line-up For Portugal

[spacer height=”30px”]Iran:[spacer height=”30px”]

A win in tonight’s Iran Vs Portugal game might be the only chance for them to qualify for the Round of 16 as they lost 1-0 to Spain in their previous match. A draw will keep them hanging for the result of the Spain Vs Morocco clash.[spacer height=”30px”]

However, Spain doesn’t look to repeat a group stage exit, doing so in Brazil 2014 in the last edition of the tournament. Moreover, Morocco doesn’t stand a very good chance of defeating La Roja. So, for Iran to qualify, they will need a win to get through.[spacer height=”30px”]

Key Players For Iran vs Portugal:[spacer height=”30px”]

Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan)[spacer height=”30px”]

The Iranian Messi could make an unexpected and unmarked run and stun Fernando Santos’ side in tonight’s Iran Vs Portugal clash just like Toivonen did versus the mighty Germans. That will surely rattle their confidence.[spacer height=”30px”]

The Rubin Kazan forward has not scored at the World Cup so far but with 23 goals in 35 international appearances, you can never rule out a deft finish.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis)[spacer height=”30px”]

The Iranian goalkeeper made a valiant display in their match versus Spain but was unlucky with the finish Costa provided. This is against a team which scored thrice versus Portugal. He also kept a clean sheet versus Morocco in the Morocco Vs Iran match. If he finds his rhythm he could be hard to beat.[spacer height=”30px”]

Image result for Alireza Beiranvand
Image obtained via www.varzesh11.com

[spacer height=”30px”]However, Alireza will have a tough task at hand to stop Cristiano Ronaldo in tonight’s Iran Vs Portugal encounter. His performance will be very vital for the Asians to qualify to the knockout stage.[spacer height=”30px”]

Predicted Line-Up:[spacer height=”30px”]

I expect Iran to go in with an unaltered line-up from Match-day 2[spacer height=”30px”]

Iran Vs Portugal, FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia
Predicted Line-up For Iran

[spacer height=”30px”]Prediction for Iran vs Portugal:[spacer height=”30px”]

I expected Portugal to go all guns blazing versus Morocco but they managed to score only one goal. Hence this time around, I’d like to say that this match might be played out conservatively, with both sides treading carefully until necessary to go out and score.[spacer height=”30px”]

Portugal will be silently confident and Iran reliant on counterattacks and Azmoun’s finishing. Portugal have a 58% betting odds to win while Iran are only good at 16%, with a 26% chance for a draw, which would still see Ronaldo’s men qualify.[spacer height=”30px”]

Final verdict: 2-0 to Portugal.[spacer height=”30px”]


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