Ronaldo! Does anything else even need to be said? For Portugal it is all about Cristiano Ronaldo. He has scored all four of their goals in their first two World Cup games. However far Portugal goes it will be due to Ronaldo. But while Portugal has the world’s greatest player everything else is in doubt. It is clear that Portugal is far too reliant upon their superstar. As for Iran they have no such luxury.
They are an overmatched team with little ability. Since they lack natural ability they stay in a shell and rely upon defense to survive. They made it to Russia based in large part from being in a weak group. In essence they were the best of the worst.
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2018 FIFA World Cup Iran vs. Portugal
Date and Time: Monday, June 25, 2018, 2 p.m. ET
Location: Mordovia Arena, Saransk
FIFA World Cup Odds at BetCris: Portugal -1 ½ +120, Iran +1 ½ -140, Over 2 ½ +105, Under 2 ½ -125. Portugal -240, Iran +850, Draw +370
Iran vs. Portugal TV Coverage: FOX
Portugal is a 20/1 shot to win the World Cup. Iran is a 250/1 longshot. In Group B Portugal opened as the second choice behind Spain at +170. Iran was a +1200 choice to win the foursome.
Ronaldo Carries Team
Portugal played in the most exciting match so far in the tournament on opening day when they fought Spain to a 3-3 draw. Cristiano Ronaldo scored all three goals to stave off defeat for Portugal. It was one of the greatest individual World Cup performances of all time. The hat trick set the stage for what Portugal believes can be a deep run to the championship. In their second match Portugal scored a 1-0 win over Morocco. And as one would expect Ronaldo scored the only goal for the winning side.
Iran has split their first two games in Group B competition. In their opening game Team Melli scored a 1-0 win over Morocco. However, it’s not that Iran really had anything to brag about. Morocco gave Iran an own goal at the 90 minute mark to blow the draw. In their second game the Iranians succumbed to powerful Spain 1-0. The Spanish team knew that Iran was hopelessly outclassed and simply did enough to get by. The pair of snooze fest games proved that Iran has no real business on a World Cup pitch.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz really has no choice for his team tactics. He enters each match with no real weaponry. As such it forces him to play for scoreless draws. While it is dreadful to watch it is also the only path to non-failure that Iran has. The “win” against Morocco was indicative of the Iranian predicament. They basically have to stay in a defensive shell and hope for mistakes by the other team. And their defense is competent. In qualification they did not allow a goal until the tenth game.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos has done much to improve the team attitude. Portugal has been an erratic World Cup commodity in the past. Sure, they still rely too much on Ronaldo but there is much more discipline and purpose than with past teams. In the past The Selecao would wilt as team unity lacked. But in 2016 this was flipped when they won the Euro at France. It was the ultimate proof that Portugal had gotten its mind right.
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Iran vs. Portugal Free Picks
Portugal owns this match. Ronaldo is better than the entire combined Iranian team. Beyond that the question of the game is how is Iran going to score? It’s unlikely that they will. They will limp back home after this match where they belong. For Portugal the Round of 16 awaits!
Iran vs. Portugal Pick: Bet the money line on Portugal
Iran vs. Portugal Score Prediction: Portugal 2, Iran 0