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Iran v Portugal betting preview
Iran enter the final game of the group stage still in with a chance to qualifyIran beat Morocco in their opener thanks to a late own goal and followed this with a 1-0 defeat to Spain, which is a respectable scoreline against the European giants. They trail both Portugal and Spain by a single point, but will likely need all three points in Monday's contest to advance beyond the group stage for the first time in five all-time World Cup appearances. Defense will be key for Iran, which has kept clean sheets on 10 occasions during their current 10-3-3 run. Carlos Queiroz's men will likely try to follow the same blueprint from their first two games, defending deep and looking to snatch a goal
Iran continue to be without central defender Rouzbeh Cheshmi, who picked up a muscle injury in training last week. Head coach Carlos Queiroz is not expected to make wholesale changes, playing with a 4-5-1 system with Sardar Azmoun leading the line ahead of a crowded midfield five. Omid Ebrahimi overcame injury to start against Spain and will spearhead the attack. Alireza Jahanbakhsh was only fit enough for a place on the bench last time out, but should start here if he can overcome injury in time.
Portugal needs to earn just a single point to clinch a berth in the knockout stagePortugal were extremely underwhelming against Morocco despite winning 1-0, a match in which Cristiano Ronaldo stolen the show once agains. The Real Madrid start has scored all the four goals of his team so far, as he bagged a hat trick in the opening 3-3 draw against Spain. They need just a point to qualify for the knockout stages where they would face either Russia or Uruguay. Portugal have won three of their four World Cup games against Asian opposition, losing against host nation South Korea in 2002.
Andre Silva could replace Goncalo Guedes up front after an ineffectual couple of games. Raphael Guerreiro also struggled against Morocco last time out but is expected to retain his place at left-back. Joao Mario came on instead of Bruno Fernandes last time out, but the Sporting Lisbon midfielder could regain his place in the starting XI here. Ricardo Quaresma is once again likely to start from the bench.
25/1 Portugal to beat Iran
Iran v Portugal Starting Lineups Iran (4-5-1): Beiranvand; Rezaeian, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Safi; Ezatolahi, Ebrahimi, Amiri, Ansarifard, Jahanbakhsh; Azmoun.
Portugal (4-4-2): Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes; André Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo.
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25/1 Portugal to beat Iran
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