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Iran vs Japan Predictions

  • 14:00
  • Expired
  • Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

Tip Reasoning

Iran continued to flex their Asian-Cup muscles on Thursday afternoon, as they comfortably got the better of the Chinese. Carlos Queiroz’s men once again showed that they’ve got plenty to offer going forward, while they also showed that they’re not to be taken lightly at the other end of proceedings. As they’re yet to concede a goal since touching down in the United Arab Emirates, the Iranians will fancy themselves to remain sturdy when they take on the Japanese on Monday.

Right from the word go at this tournament, Iran have looked by far and away the best team. Not only have they won games with ease, but they’ve delivered solid all-round play. They’ve given very little away, have looked comfortable in possession, have created chances and, crucially, have stuck the ball in the back of the net with regularity.

Last time out, Team Melli really did show that they mean business, as they brushed China aside. On that occasion, they scored three goals, conceded none, clocked 2.35 expected goals for and gave up just 0.64. If they can replicate such a performance on Monday, then Iran, who’re still yet to concede at this tournament, should book their place in the final.

Japan were far less impressive last time out, as they edged past Vietnam, who Iran made light work of beating in the group stages. When the Iranians faced the Vietnamese, they scored twice, recorded 1.51 expected goals for and surrendered just 0.43 expected goals for. Japan were as innovative when they created 1.53 against Vietnam in the quarters, but they looked anything but secure at the back, as they conceded double the shots that Iran did against the same opposition, while they also conceded 1.19 expected goals for. Frankly, the Japanese were a tad fortunate not to concede, which is not something that could be said when Iran walked off the pitch having brushed the same opposition aside.

In truth, Iran have looked stronger than Japan in all areas since the start of the tournament. They’ve generally created more going forward, which is why they currently have a +0.69 expected-goals for supremacy over Samurai Blue, while they’ve looked sturdier at the back. No team at the Asian Cup has conceded less expected goals than Iran. Team Melli are also one of just two teams to maintain a 100% clean sheet record.

Given that Iran have bettered Japan in all areas at this tournament, it’s easy to feel that they ought to be stronger favourites ahead of this semi-final. Punters are urged to get behind an Iranian side that has gone from strength to strength in UAE.

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