World Cup Match 3: Morocco v Iran

The first game in Group B will take place on Day 2 of the 2018 Soccer World Cup, when Morocco takes on Iran at St Petersburg Stadium.

Stats

What’s their current form?
Morocco has been one of the busier sides this season, playing 17 games, 10 of which have been this year. They won 4 of their 5 African Nations Championship games against Mauritania 4-0; Guyinea 3-1; Namibia 2-0 and Libya 3-1 while scoring a 0 all draw with Sudan. They then beat Serbia 2-1 and Uzbekistan 2-0 before playing three warm up games for the World Cup; a 0 all draw with Ukraine; a 2-1 win over Slovakia and a 3-1 win over Estonia last week.

Iran has played 12 games in the last season, half of which have been this year. They began with a 4-0 win over Sierra Leone before going down to Tunisia 1-0 a week later. Another 4 days later Iran beat Algeria 2-1. A month ago they beat Uzbekistan 1-0 before losing 2-1 to Turkey and then being held to a scoreless draw with Lithuania last week.

Lineups
Morocco: Bounou; Hakimi, Benatia, Saiss, Mendyl; El-Ahmadi, Boussoufa; Amrabat, Belhanda, Ziyech; Boutaib.
Iran: Beiranvand; Rezaeian, Cheshmi, Pouraliganji, Mohammadi; Jahanbakhsh, Shojaei, Ebrahimi, Hajsafi, Taremi; Azmoun.

Any interesting facts I should know?
Morocco did not concede a single goal in their 6 qualifying games, while Iran advanced to the World Cup without losing any of their qualifiers.

What should I be betting on?
A low scoring and tight contest. These sides are evenly matched and are very strong defensively.

Wolf’s Prediction

The Wolf loves Morocco in this one and says they could spring an upset and qualify for the knockout stages. Neither nation has had any success at the World Cup but this has more to do with form than anything else. They beat out the Ivory Coast to top their group in the final round of African qualifiers and went undefeated in the process. What was most impressive was their 6 consecutive clean sheets to qualify for Russia. Their recent run in friendlies has also captured The Wolf’s complete attention. They posted wins over Serbia, Slovakia and Estonia – all on European soil and have now scored multiple goals in 5 of their last 6 matches. Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is as defensive as they come. They have conceded 51 goals in his 87 games at the helm but The Wolf cannot look past Morocco’s recent record.

Recommended Bets

Best: Morocco WIN ($2.25)
Value: Over 2.5 goals ($3.00)
Correct Score: Morocco 2-1 ($10.00)


FAQ’s

TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news

What time is kick off? The game starts at 6pm (local time) on June 15. In Australia, kick-off will be at 1am on June 16th.

What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.

What’s the team news and who’s injured? Both sides are fully fit and are expected to name their strongest sides, as a win here for either side, could prove to be pivotal.

Who’s the referee? Cuneyt Cakir from Turkey.

What happened the last time they played each other? There has only been 1 clash between these two sides. It was a friendly in 2002 which resulted in a 1 all draw.

Discuss