This is Iran’s fifth appearance at the World Cup finals and they come into it full of confidence. They were the only team in AFC Qualification to end the campaign unbeaten, which led to them winning group A ahead of the likes of South Korea and China. Their total of 22 points was the highest accumulated throughout both groups and it just shows how much they’ve progressed as a footballing nation over the last few years. But despite all that they come into the World Cup as one of the minnows, with them available at massive odds 500/1 to go all the way in Russia.Iran were never considered as one of the nations to go deep in the tournament, with their history in the World Cup not the best. They’re yet to make it beyond the group stage in their previous three appearances and their supporters won’t really be expecting that record to change in Russia, with them drawn alongside Spain, Portugal & Morocco in Group B – so backing them to qualify from the group doesn’t look like a particularly sensible bet!Their best showing at the World Cup came back in 1998 when they managed to accumulate three points from their three group games. It obviously wasn’t enough for them to go through the group stage but that 2-1 win over the USA remains their only one to date at the finals. They kick-off this years tournament with arguably their most winnable game against Morocco, if you fancy a bet on it they’re priced up at 23/10.
Iran’s World Cup Group Tips
They’ve never made it beyond the group stage in any of their previous three trips to the World Cup Finals and after being drawn in a very tough group containing the likes of Portugal and Spain, so their won’t be many betting on them to go through. They’re available at odds of 9/2 to qualify from the group, miles behind Spain (1/12) and Portugal (1/3) so it’s going to be extremely difficult for them.One selection that many will be betting on however is for Iran to finish bottom of Group. A fourth placed finish is available at odds of 5/6 which looks pretty good on paper, with their first clash against Morocco key to avoiding finishing at the foot of the group.
Iran’s World Cup Preparations
Iran won their group in AFC qualification to secure automatic entry into the 2018 Russia World Cup, capping what’s been an excellent few years for them. They make the trip to Europe having lost just three international games in over three years which for any nation or team is something to be very proud of. Their immediate form is very good, with them currently on a ten game unbeaten run in all competitions. That includes seven victories over the likes of Montenegro (2-1), Togo (2-0) and Venezuela (1-0).They have a busy schedule in the mont leading up to the World Cup with ties against established nations such as Algeria, Peru and Turkey to come which will set them up nicely for the summer.
Iran’s World Cup Squad
Iran are led by someone who’ll be very familiar to followers of the Premier League and fans of Manchester United, with former Red Devils assistant Carlos Quieroz in charge. The 64 year-old is now in his seventh year in control of the national team and they’d made magnificent progress under his guidance. They’re currently ranked 34th in the world rankings which is very impressive and they boast a decent crop of talent. There’s a youthful look to their squad at the moment but they do have plenty of experience to go alongside it, with the likes of Jalal Hosseini, Ehsan Hajsafi and former Fulham man Ashkan Dejagah all very experienced at this level.Their star man comes in the form of Rubin Kazan forward Sardar Azmoun, who despite being one of the younger members of the squad he has an impressive strike rate at international level. The 23 year-old has bagged 22 goals in 30 caps for the national team and he’s someone that the fans have high hopes for in the years to come, so he’s certainly someone to look out for in Russia. In attack is where Iran’s main strength lies, with Olympiakos hitman Karim Ansarifard (16 goals in 59) and former Charlton striker Reza Ghoochannejhad (17 goals in 40) also knowing where the back of the net is & they’ll need to be at their clinical best if Iran are to do anything this summer.
Iran’s World Cup Fixtures
Click on the fixtures below for more up to date match information, odds and betting details.
Morocco V Iran, Friday 15th June – St. Petersburg at 4 pm
Iran V Spain, Wednesday 20th June – Kazan 7 pm
Portugal V Iran, Monday 25th June – Saransk, 7pm