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Morocco v Iran betting preview
Morocco is a very solid unit at the backMorocco will be looking to build on a good run of form that they have produced in this calendar year as they are undefeated in 2018. They recorded a 2-0 win over Ivory Coast that sealed their place in Russia, without conceding any goal during the whole qualifying campaign. The won back to back friendlies in March as they beat 2-1 Serbia and 2-0 Uzbekistan. At the end of May they drew 0-0 against Ukraine, while in June they beat Slovakia 2-1 and Estonia 3-1.
Morocco’s main strength is in defence and their rearguard will be marshalled by their captain Medhi Benatia, alongside Real Madrid Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss and Nordin Amrabat. The latter will start at right-back with Nabil Dirar a doubt. Up front, Ayoub El Kaabi should get the nod over Khalid Boutaib. The likes of Amine Harit, Hakim Ziyech and Younes Belhanda will play as offensive midfielders behind the lone striker.
Iran was tough nut to crack at Brazil 2014Iran were the first Asian team to qualify - way back in June with a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan, topping AFC’s Group A to qualify for Russia with an impressive haul of 22 points from 10 games. They lost 2-1 to Turkey at the back end of May, and followed that up last week with a rather stale 1-0 win against Lithuania. Iran was knocked out at Group stage four years ago in Brazil. Although they didn’t record a win then, they gave Argentina a run for their own money in a close 1-0 loss and drew with Nigeria.
Veteran captain Masoud Shojaei should start in the middle of the park as young midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi is suspended. This should allow Karim Ansarifad to start further upfield or in the number 10 role, with Omid Ebrahimi stepping in alongside Ehsan Hajsafi. Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who was the top scorer in the Eredivisie for AZ last season, will be tucked behind the striker Sardar Azmoun. Heerenveen's Reza Ghoochannejhad provide a further option upfront.
Morocco v Iran Starting Lineups Morocco (4-2-3-1): Bounou, Hakimi, Benatia, Saiss, Amrabat; Boussoufa, El Ahmadi; Harit, Belhanda, Ziyech; El Kaabi
Iran (4-2-3-1): Beiranvard; Rezaeian, Cheshmi, Pouraliganji, Mohammadi; Shojaei, Haji Safi; Ansarifard, Taremi, Jahanbakhsh; Azmoun
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