2014 FIFA World Cup: Nigeria vs. Iran Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/16/14
World Cup: Monday, June 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Brazil)
The Line: Nigeria +115 See the Latest Odds
In a Monday afternoon World Cup matchup, Nigeria and Iran will take the field. This is just the second ever meeting between the two, as Nigeria won that meeting, 1-0.
This is Iran’s fourth World Cup appearance, but they enter with very little momentum after struggling in the World Cup friendly matches. Iran settled for draws against Belarus, Montenegro and Angola. Many don’t expect much from an Iran team that doesn’t have much star power, but Ashkan Dejagah is having one of his best seasons of his career with Fulham and Javad Nekounam is an experienced player who has scored 37 international goals. Coach Carlos Queiroz is also no stranger to having his team prepared and has won more than 54 percent of his career matches.
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Nigeria is a team that could surprise some people throughout the tournament and has shown the ability to knockdown some of the best teams in the country. Remember Spain in the 1998 World Cup? Unfortunately, that was the last time Nigeria reached the knockout stages. Nigeria will miss its key defender in Elderson Echiejile, but still has one of the top goalies in Vincent Enyeama, who is having an incredible season for Lille. Nigeria is a balnced team that could make some serious noise, especially Emmanuel Emenike plays the way he’s capable of playing and finds the net a few times. 21-year-old Ahmed Musa could also have his breakout party in this tournament as well.
Iran is simply in over its head in this matchup, as Nigeria is the much better team at both ends of the field. Nigeria has more scoring threats and one of the better goalies you’re going to find in the tournament.
I really don’t expect this matchup to be close, which is why taking Nigeria to win SU for the plus money is the easiest bet so far.