Iran v Spain Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

June 16, 2018

- Grant Whittington

Kazan Arena – World Cup Group B

Spain meet Iran at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday as they look to pick up their first victory at this summer’s World Cup. Fernando Hierro’s side were involved in a thrilling six-goal share-of-the-spoils in their opening match against Portugal, while the Iranians stunned Morocco with a last-minute goal to win 1-0.

Past Meetings

These two nations have never played each other in international football. Interestingly, an Asian side has never beaten Spain at a World Cup in normal time, although South Korea beat them in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals of the finals in 2002.

Team News

Spain have Dani Carvajal back in training after the Real Madrid full-back missed the first match with a hamstring problem. He’s in contention to start and Nacho could make way. Alireza Jahanbaksh had to be brought off in the last ten minutes of Iran’s victory over Morocco but he should be fit to take his place on the right flank.

Iran v Spain Preview and Predictions

Many had predicted Group B’s outcome to be a foregone conclusion, with Portugal and Spain easing into the knockout stages. But the draw between those teams, combined with Iran’s win over Morocco, means there’s all to play for.

Spain could count themselves unlucky to have not claimed all three points against their bitter rivals, with Cristiano Ronaldo the only reason that didn’t happen. La Roja looked slick and fluid in attack and the result stretched their unbeaten record to 21 international matches. It’s difficult to look beyond Hierro’s men again for this one but odds of 2/11 for them to win are unlikely to attract too many punters.

Most people expected Morocco to see off Iran but a spirited backs-to-the-walls performance from the Iranians helped them to a 1-0 victory – despite not attempting a single shot in the second half. It was a resolve that shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise; Iran have kept three clean sheets in their last four matches and conceded only twice during qualification. A win here seems too much to ask though, and is at best odds of 25/1. The draw is at 13/2 but even that price looks to be too short to tempt even the most optimistic Team Melli fan.

Recommended Bets

Spain -2 at 13/8

The Spanish looked in dazzling attacking form against Portugal and could have even scored more goals, while a clinical Morocco should have breached the Iranian defence.

Diego Costa to score two or more at 16/5

The Atletico Madrid striker looked back to his rampaging best in the opener and he should thrive against Quieroz’s men who will sit back and invite pressure.

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