All eyes will be on Ronaldo when Portugal takes on Iran:
It is a do or dies situation for Iran and Portugal when they face each other on Monday in FIFA World Cup 2018. Both the teams will be eyeing for the full three points to go further in the competition. There is no doubt that Portugal is favorite in this match as odds are also in favor of Portugal.
The Iran team has shown themselves to be the formidable opponents in their first two matches, especially impressing with their outstanding defense. Their flexibility against Morocco was awarded and on the other hand, just one mistake costed them their win against Spain. They need a little bit of luck to go in their favor and they can be a tough opponent for Portugal.
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There is no doubt that the Portugal team revolves around Cristiano Ronaldo, to whom they are obliged for their four points to date. With his hat-trick in a match against Spain, he has already alerted the world to be ready for Ronaldo special in this FIFA World Cup and he will not going to miss this time.
Before you pick your team!!! Here are the descriptions and prediction for the same.
Head to head:
Iran and Portugal have faced each other twice before. First was in 1972 when Portugal easily thumped Iran by 3-0. They have also met in the 2006 World cup Group match as Deco and Ronaldo both scored for a 2-0 win.
Teams: Iran vs Portugal
Iran XI: Ali Beiranvand; Ehsan Haji Safi, Morteza Pouraliganji, Ramin Rezaeian, Majid Hosseini; Saeid Ezatolahi, Vahid Amiri, Omid Ebrahimi, Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi; Sardar Azmoun
Portugal XI: Rui Patrício; Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Cedric Soares, William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, João Mário; Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.
KNOW YOUR TEAMS
Captain of the team: Cristiano Ronaldo
Team Manager: Fernando Santos
How they qualified
After getting defeated in the opening round of UEFA World Cup Qualification Group B against Switzerland in Basel, Portugal pulled their socks tight and won all their remaining matches to top the group and qualify directly for Russia. After that rare failure in the opening match, which Ronaldo missed because of injury, Portugal was able to score 32 goals and only conceded two goals in the next nine matches. Ronaldo and Andre Silva struck up a brilliant coordination and they together have scored 24 goals.
Biggest Quality & Strengths
Santos is one big strength as since he took control in September 2014, the team won 20 matches and losing just a single of 24 competitive matches under the veteran mentor. Portugal's players have completely adopted the mantra of making themselves hard to beat, with the Euro 2016 triumph reinforcing their faith in this approach and bracing the recently discovered winning mindset. The furious rivalry for places among a talented generation has not affected an impressive togetherness inside the squad.
A dependence on veteran players could be a reason of their failure. Portugal has lost just two competitive matches since the 2014 World Cup, the only two times Ronaldo was absent because of injury. At the core of barrier, 35-year-old Pepe is seemingly essential for Portugal's odds of going far, the form and fitness of the center back is critical, particularly as he will probably be partnered by either Bruno Alves (36) or Jose Fonte (34), both of whose better days are behind them.
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As specified over, Portugal's traditional free-haggling and flamboyant style of play have been supplanted by a more defense inclined approach, which means creativity is hard to come by. Ricardo Quaresma (34) has provided more than twofold the quantity of help than some other Portugal player in the previous four years and is probably going to be critical to opening the opposition.
Do we need to tell! Without any doubt, Portugal's greatest player ever is the flamboyant Cristiano Ronaldo. After a poor start in 2017-18, critics were covering up to write the articles on his extraordinary career. But since then, the Real Madrid superstar has been unstoppable. He has beaten all records for Portugal's national team (148 caps, 81 goals, and counting) but he is always hungry as ever to further polish his legacy.
Know your Team:
Captain of the team: Ashkan Dejagah
Team’s Manager: Carlos Queiroz
FIFA rank (as of April 12, 2018): 36
How they qualified
The roads for Russia couldn't have been smoother and straighter for Iran. They held the second spot after Brazil. All the team needed to do was to win two rounds out of three. After few matches, they picked up the pace and completed on top and that too unbeaten. Iran, now getting ready for a fifth World Cup, didn't yield a single goal until the tenth match.
Biggest Quality & Strengths
Iran's defense is their biggest quality and strength. However, the difference between the team that was on the bottom in the 2014 World Cup group and this form is the attacking option chosen by the coach Queiroz. Winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh and striker Sardar Azmoun would spill and shoot their way into any Asian team, yet there is more. Saman Ghoddos has a terrific season in Sweden and is set to move to a bigger league this summer, however, he is not yet sure of a beginning spot.
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Mehdi Taremi is one of the best strikers in Asia, yet, he could be on the seat, and the same can be said for Karim Ansarifard, the joint best scorer in the Greek league this season. There are others also, and keeping in mind that Iran does jump at the chance to keep things tight, their invasions forward should be better - as far as quality and quantity- than four years ago.
Iran has been the most noteworthy ranked Asian team for a long time. The team has quality inside and out, match winners and match-savers and a brilliant mentor, yet it lacks what it takes to play against the top-class global opposition.
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While their qualities are great, Iran was not sufficiently supported by their continental partners. Preparation might be somewhat superior to before, however, they confronted weak opponents (Latvia, Uzbekistan and Sierra Leone) which were no match to the contenders they were about to face in the World Cup.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh. In Dutch Eredivisie season, the winger – that’s right the winger, - is the top scorer in the league. With 18 goals and an entire host of help, the 24-year-old has been one of the best performers in Europe this season.
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There are more aggressive weapons available to Queiroz now with the AZ Alkmaar attacker in phenomenal form. He's quick and direct, and with his certainty as high as can be, he's prepared to shoot strongly from anyplace. The most energizing idea is that there are different threats, for example, Azmoun for defenders to stress over, which gives Jahanbakhsh the flexibility to do what he specializes in: cause devastation & havoc.
Portugal, as well as Iran, have equal chances of securing a win. With Ronaldo in his top form and Iran with some of its top players, it gets difficult to predict. But, we will place our hopes on Portugal, for now.
Astrologer's Prediction on Winner of this Today FIFA Match: Portugal