Group B Match Three Preview : Iran v Portugal and Spain v Morocco
Event Venue: Saransk and Kaliningrad, Russia, Monday June 24th at 7pm. . Live on BBC.See Stats
Three of the four teams in Group B could still qualify for the last 16 but it would take a missive shock for Spain and Portugal not to progress. The teams drew their meeting and both won the second fixture one-nil which means they have identical records. The Iberian teams should win their last match so goal difference will determine which team wins the group. If Iran beat Portugal they would eliminate Cristiano Ronaldo’s team assuming Spain bear Morocco. The most likely outcome is three points for Spain and Portugal and the team with the best winning margin will win the group.
Iran v Portugal
If Spain could not handle Ronaldo Iran will find it just about impossible to prevent him scoring. He scored a hat-trick against Spain and the winning goal against Morocco. Ronaldo is the favourite to be the World Cup top scorer and he can add to his tally of four goals against Iran. The European champions keep it tight at the back and try to get Ronaldo on the ball but you would expect more ambition in this fixture. Several key defenders are not playing in an elite league and the coach is cautious by nature but that was a winning formula at the Euros. A number of Iran’s squad lack experience outside of Asia and the main strength of defensive discipline will be tested by the best player in the world. A Portugal win with at least one goal from Ronaldo is the likely outcome in this fixture (6/5 with Boylesports).
Spain v Morocco
Despite being pegged back by Ronaldo and Portugal in the first match Spain were the best team. It took a rare mistake by David De Gea and a Ronaldo free kick to prevent Spain beating their local rivals. Spain have world-class players in all areas of the pitch and can keep possession and then strike. In Diego Costa Spain have one the most lethal strikers in the world and he has scored in both matches. Spain may lack pace but they can get away with that weakness against Morocco. The African side did not concede a goal in qualifying but they have scored in two matches. The best that Morocco can achieve is third place but three defeats is on the cards because Spain can win this fixture by more than one goal. Diego Costa is fancied to again find the net at 19/10 with Ladbrokes.
- Spain and Morocco are the highest scoring teams in the Group B with 4 goals.
- Morocco have not scored a goal.
- Three of the matches were won to nil.
- Both teams scored in one match.
- There were over 2.5 goals in one match.
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