Iran currently top Group B after their last gasp win over Morocco in game one, but surely they won’t be able to hold onto that when they take on Spain on Wednesday night. Spain drew 3-3 with Portugal in their first match in a topsy-turvy game which could have gone either way in the end. Spain will be looking to pick up a victory against an Iran side who they have never faced before in international football and you would expect them to do so with ease.
Iran’s 1-0 victory against Morocco in game one was just their second ever victory at the World Cup and their first for 20 years. When Aziz Bouhaddouz scored that 95th minute own goal, it sparked wild celebrations amongst the Iran players and fans and they will be hoping to carry that momentum into Wednesday’s match. Iran were fairly solid defensively in that game and really grew into it after a tough start and this side now haven’t conceded more than two goals in a game in their last 36 matches.
Spain will count themselves unfortunate not to have beaten Portugal in their first match and they will point to the fact that two of the goals came from set plays and the other from an error by David de Gea. As you would expect, Spain played some excellent football in the game, with Isco particularly impressing behind Diego Costa. There didn’t seem to be too much of a drop off after the dramatic sacking of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament and I’m still expecting big things from this Spanish side. New manager, Fernando Hierro, may look to make a couple of changes in this game to freshen his side up and we could see the likes of Marcos Asensio and Thiago come into the staring line up.
Despite Iran picking up a sensational victory in their first match, Spain should win this game comfortably. Spain play some of the best football in the tournament and are now unbeaten in a stunning 21 matches. I’m expecting Hierro to make a couple of changes to his line up for this game, but whatever side he sends out on Wednesday, Spain should have far too much quality for this Iran side.
Betting Tips (Coral)
As you would expect, Spain start this game as big favourites at odds of 2/11, whilst a victory for Iran is priced up at 22/1 with the draw available at 11/2. Spain should win this game comfortably, and after scoring three times against Portugal, you’d expect them to help themselves to some more goals in this one. Spain to win and over 2.5 goals at 10/11 looks like a solid bet, as does Spain to win to nil at 8/15. Diego Costa was fantastic in that first match, and the striker is available at 5/2 to open the scoring, but my pick would be on Isco to score at anytime at 13/10. Isco was fantastic against Portugal and couldn’t have come any closer to scoring with his shot that hit the crossbar.
Isco to Score at Anytime – 13/10 (Coral)