Iran – Group B – Overview and Iran betting tips
It would take a very brave punter to bet on Iran to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but despite this, it’s worth remembering that the Iranian team are more than able to serve up a few surprises. Led by their charismatic coach, Carlos Queiroz, Iran managed to qualify for their second successive World Cup without a defeat.
And whilst they’ve found themselves in the unenviable position of having to play against Spain, Portugal and Morocco in Group B, it’s worth seeing how you can bet on Iran to cause a major upset.
Iran prediction: How well will they do?
Group B is one of the toughest groups in the FIFA 2018 World Cup, and if Iran stand any chance of defying the bookies to get through to the knock-out rounds, then they will have to win their first match against Morocco.
Whilst Morocco have a good reputation for having a solid defence, if Iran can create some counter-attack opportunities for stars like Sardar Azmoun, then we could see the match on 15 June in Saint Petersburg give Carlos Queiroz’s team some important points. We’re not expecting this to be a high-scoring game, as both teams are fairly defensively minded, but with Paddy Power offering 9/4 for an Iran win, it could be worth a bet.
Iran’s other two Group B matches look far less promising for Carlos Queiroz’s side. On 20 June, they travel to Kazan where they have to take on Spain who have recently shot up the World Cup power rankings thanks to impressive friendly performances against Argentina and Germany. With legends like Andreś Iniesta in rare form, it’s almost impossible to imagine an Iranian victory in Kazan. But with Iran’s strong reputation for defensive excellence, it could still be a frustrating match for Spain against this underrated team.
The final match in Iran’s Group B campaign takes place against Portugal on 25 June in Saransk. Portugal have been stricken with some worrying form in international friendlies recently, and their shock 3-0 home defeat by Holland proves that the Euro 16 winners aren’t infallible. The Portuguese defence is filled with ageing players like Pepe, José Fonte and Bruno Alves who might find it tough to keep up with fast young Iranian strikers like Sardar Azmoun.
Despite this, Paddy Power have Iran at 15/2 to get a shock win over Portugal. And at 500/1 to pick up the World Cup trophy, it shows that they still have a long way to go if they want to convince the bookies that they can match the world’s footballing elite.
Best Odds Available at Paddy Power
Journey to the World Cup — Who did Iran beat to qualify?
Iran have repeatedly made the case for being Asia’s best football team, and their World Cup qualification certainly proved this point. The team breezed through the Asian Football Confederation qualifiers and achieved an automatic qualification with two games to spare.
Iran’s unbeaten run in Group A was also marked by the fact that they didn’t actually concede any goals until the final group game which illustrates the team’s newfound defensive prowess. Whilst few of the results were a clear walkover for Iran, the matches revealed just how tricky Iran can be to score against.
Their opening game against Qatar was won 2-0 thanks to two injury time goals, and important victories against the likes of South Korea and Uzbekistan showed how stars like Sardar Azmoun, and Mehdi Taremi can score goals when it truly counts.
Iran confirmed their appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan, and the scenes of dancing on the streets in Tehran illustrated just how crazy this nation is about football. Whilst victories against teams like China won’t give us too much of an accurate picture of how they will perform in Russia this summer, it seems that the time could be right for Iran to prove to the world exactly how much they have grown in the past few years.
Best players for Iran: Who should you be betting on?
Iran’s World Cup squad is packed full of quality players who are starting to make a big impact on the global football stage. Strikers like Sardar Azmoun reveal how a new generation of stars have the potential to create a stir in Russia this summer. The 23-year old currently plays for the Russian side, Rubin Kazan, and whilst he’s had a hard time in the Russian Premier League, he managed to clock up an impressive 11 goals in the World Cup qualifying rounds.
Reza Ghoochannejhad could be another talented forward to watch this summer. The striker enjoyed a fantastic season with the Dutch team, Heerenveen, and with support from forwards like Mehdi Taremi and promising midfielders like Saeed Ezatolahi, he could continue his exceptional goalscoring run.
Much of the Iranian squad will be familiar to anybody who watched the team in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and it’s thanks to experienced defenders like Jalal Hosseini that Iran have managed to achieve such a strong record for defending excellence. So whilst Coral currently have Sardar Azmoun way out at 500/1 to pick up the Golden Boot, it’s Iran’s ability to frustrate their opponents that could be their greatest asset.
Best Odds Available at Coral
Who manages Iran?
Carlos Queiroz has been a commanding force ever since he took up managerial duties for Iran in 2011. His brand of so-called ‘reactive football’ has helped Iran not lose a competitive match in international football since they appeared at the 2014 World Cup, and his strong record has earned him plenty of devotion in this football-mad country.
The Portuguese manager gained plenty of experience at Manchester United where he was assistant to Alex Ferguson, and Queiroz’s ability to create tension with his outspoken comments should ensure that Iran won’t be out of the headlines for long. Although Queiroz has traditionally favoured a defensive game, recent friendlies have displayed more aggressive tendencies that could signal that Iran will be keen to provide a few fireworks this summer.
Why bet on Iran?
Anybody who saw Iran playing in the World Cup four years ago will know how this is a team that’s capable of frustrating much more powerful sides. Iran famously held out Argentina until a Lionel Messi injury time winner in Brazil, and they will be hoping for similar performances against footballing titans like Spain and Portugal in June.
The general view amongst bookmakers like Betway is that Iran will be at odds of 500/1 to win the World Cup. Even their outspoken manager, Carlos Queiroz, has stated that Iran’s enviable playing record won’t count for much when playing against teams like Spain this summer. And whilst betting on Iran to get through to the second round would be a long shot, we think that this team could make things difficult for Portugal, and even pick up a win against Morocco.
So although Iran’s chances don’t look good for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we’re expecting to see a continuation of strong form for this football-obsessed country.
Best Odds Available at Betway