Iran vs. Lithuania
|Date & Time||Friday June 8, 2018, 11:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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Iran and Lithuania meet Friday in International Friendly soccer action at Otkrytie Arena.
Iran is the first team that qualified for the World Cup that’s already in Russia, so it’s going to be interesting to see just how seriously it takes this match with a meeting against Morocco on deck. Already in the host country, Iran could be using this time to get used to its surroundings and putting all of its chips in getting out of the group stages. However, Iran should be somewhat interested in putting together a solid performance after the way it lost to Turkey in its last match. Iran dominated the match statistically but ended up losing 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Omer Bayram. Some put much less stock into friendly matches than others, but Iran has had some recent questionable performances against lesser teams. You’d think Team Melli would want a confidence boosting performance before the main tournament, especially having to play powerhouses such as Spain and Portugal in a couple of weeks.
Lithuania has a couple of friendly matches left before it prepares for the UEFA Nations League later in the year. Lithuania clearly has some showing and proving to do, as this is a limited team that doesn’t have a lot of firepower and has actually scored just two goals in its last five matches. Lithuania has been shutout five times in its last eight matches and has just four players on its current squad with at least two international goals scored. At this point it’s simply about developing depth and finding a playmaker here and there who can carry this club in the future. Right now, things aren’t looking great for Lithuania, but things could change with a positive result here and in a few days against Poland.
There’s no previous meetings between these two sides.
Iran should be focused for a bounce back performance after how it played against Turkey, and the players can relax more knowing that they’re already in Russia and don’t have much more traveling to do before the World Cup. Lithuania is just in poor form right now and doesn’t have the horses to hang with some of the better teams in the world. Right now, you can’t pick Lithuania to do anything positive against better teams with a straight face.
I’ll side with Iran for the win.