Iran vs. Portugal
|Date & Time||Monday June 25, 2018, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Portugal -303 / Draw +395 / Iran +967 -- Over/Under: 2.5
A spot in the round of 16 is on the line when Portugal takes on Iran from the Mordovia Arena in World Cup Group B action on Monday.
Portugal comes into this match looking to punch their ticket to the round of 16 after moving from their 3-3 draw with Portugal onto a 1-0 win over Morocco in their last outing to climb to 4 points in Group B. Cristiano Ronaldo picked up right where he left off, scoring his 4th goal of the tournament in the 4th minute, and it was all Portugal would eventually need. However it was not a cakewalk for Portugal, as Morocco owned the statistical part of the match, out possessing Portugal 54%-46% and outshooting the Portuguese 16-10 and 4-2 in terms of shots on goal.
Iran on the other hand, will be out to snatch all three points as they currently sit in 3rd spot in the group with 3 points after falling to Spain by a final score of 1-0 in their last outing. Iran battled hard, keeping the match a scoreless draw until Diego Costa broke the deadlock for the Spaniards in the 54th minute with the lone goal of the match. Iran looked content to sit out a draw, as Spain out possessed Iran by a whopping 68%-32% margin, with 17 shots to Iran’s 5, and 3 shots on goal while Iran were unable to hit the target once.
The lone meeting between these two sides came in the 2006 World Cup, a match that saw Portugal emerge 2-0 victors.
A draw would see Portugal through to the round of 16, while a draw for Iran would see them on a plane back home, so I expect Iran to be the side to push the pace. I’m not sure I want to take a risk on a Portugal win here though even if that would give Portugal a chance at the top spot in the group. Instead, I’m going to side with the under as I expect neither side to play loose with one mistake likely deciding the outcome.