Prediction: Iran vs Spain - My Arsenal Blog

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Prediction: Iran vs Spain

Posted on June 19, 2018 by Veselin Trajkovic

Prediction: Diego Costa to score

Best odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Bet365

Surprise group leaders Iran meet one of the tournament favorites Spain in the second round of group B at World Cup in Russia on Wednesday evening.

Iran unexpectedly beat Morocco in the first round with Aziz Bouhaddouz handing them invaluable three points by heading into his own net deep in stoppage time. On the other hand, Spain were held to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling encounter with European champions Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo earning and superbly taking a free-kick to score a hat-trick and knock two points out of their tightly closed hand late on.

Iran

Boosted by their success in round one, Iran will certainly give their all to stifle the flair of their opponents, and after all the surprises this World Cup has produced so far, that possibility is not to be dismissed out of hand. However, they are still huge underdogs in this clash and a potential defeat would not be seen as the end of the world, even less so if they offer some decent resistance and avoid a heavy hammering.

Team News

Manager Carlos Queiroz has a difficult issue to deal with. Defender Roozbeh Cheshmi is unavailable through injury, and his robust 6’4” frame will sorely be missed as the alternative back-line setup battles the fighter that is Diego Costa. One of Pejaman Montazeri or Majid Hosseini is likely to take his place in the team.

Spain

The 2010 World Cup winners once again have a formidable team, despite the likes of Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso, David Villa and Fernando Torres not being a part of it. They thoroughly outplayed Portugal in the first round and would have easily won the game were there not for Ronaldo’s individual brilliance. With two points dropped from the opener, they will be looking to allow no surprises this time around.

Team News

Given the performance of the team in the game against Portugal, there is no apparent reason to change anything in the line-up unless Fernando Hierro, who has taken over from the sacked Julen Lopetegui, decides to give someone a rest. The quality and the depth of the squad at his disposal make such a move possible without any loss of quality.

However, if Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal who missed the Portugal clash through injury is deemed fit enough, it will be interesting to see if he gets the nod ahead of Nacho – who conceded an early penalty and later scored a stunning goal in the first round.

Prediction: Diego Costa to score

Best odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Bet365

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