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Iran vs Iraq Predictions

  • 16:00
  • Expired
  • Rashid Al-Maktoum Stadium

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

Tip Reasoning

Iran have so far waltzed through Group D; they made light work of beating Yemen on match-day one, while the Vietnam were also no match for Carlos Queiroz’s men.

Two wins, seven goals scored, back-to-back clean sheets, Iran have impressed as much as anyone over the first two match-days. On match-day one, Tea Melli thrashed Yemen by five goals to nil, as they made light work of creating chances, scoring goals and keeping things tight at the back. They weren’t as exuberant against Vietnam on match-day two, but they comfortably score two goals and nullified their opponents with minimal fuss.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Iran have been the most impressive team from an attacking point of view. It is still early days, so the numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt, but Queiroz’s side currently rank as the best team in the competition in terms of both goals scored and expected goals for. They’re also one of only five teams to have kept back-to-back clean sheets, while only two teams have conceded less expected goals. All round, the Iranians have made a very pleasing start to the tournament.

Iraq haven’t looked quite as good as Iran, but that’s not to say that they’ve been poor. Srečko Katanec’s men have also won each of their first two matches, while they too have looked good going forward. Iraq notched three goals against Vietnam on match-day two, while they also found the net on three occasions against Yemen. In both matches, they created good chances, which is why they’re currently averaging 1.83 expected goals per match.

However, where Iraq’s efforts have differed from Iran’s is at the back. Yemen are a very weak side offensively, so it’s no surprise that the Iraqis came under little pressure, though they didn’t look all that secure when beating Vietnam. They did notch three goals in that game, but they also conceded twice and gave away 1.39 expected goals, which doesn’t exactly scream defensive solidity.

Iraq can get forward and make things happen, so it would be unsurprising if they became the first team to really test the Iran back-line at this tournament, but their efforts against Vietnam suggest that they lack the defensive quality to contain one of the best attacks in the tournament. Both teams can get competitive in the final third, but with the hosts looking that bit stronger, the bet that stands out at the prices is ‘Iran to Win & Both Teams to Score’.

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