Morocco world cup

Morocco

V

Krestovsky Stadium

15/06/2018 | 4:00 pm

Iran team preview

Iran

V

Krestovsky Stadium

15/06/2018 | 4:00 pm

In a sentence:  Group B kicks off on Friday night with both Morocco and Iran knowing they must win in order to have any chance of progression with Spain and Portugal lying in wait.  

Last time: The pair were due to meet for the first time in an international friendly back in January 2017. However, the United Arab Emirates – where the game was to be played – only allowed the game to be played behind closed doors, but as Iranian fans wanted to attend the match, it ended up being cancelled.

This time: Morocco are 13/10 to win with bet365, while Iran are 29/10 and the draw 2/1. 

You might remember:  There have been numerous tensions over the years between Morocco and Iran but the cancellation of the match in early 2017 was nothing political-related and purely down to the UAE wanting the game played behind closed doors. There are no such issues this time in Russia as Group B is set to get going in our thrilling World Cup preview even if Iran may be struggling for kit after Nike cut ties with the side just prior to the tournament.

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Betting Tips & Predictions

Morocco take on Iran at the Krestovsky Stadium in their opening World Cup fixture

Drawn in the same group as Spain and Portugal, it is of little surprise to learn that neither Morocco or Iran are expected to make it to the knockout stage. However, meeting each other in the opening group game gives both sides an opportunity to give themselves a chance of causing a shock. A draw will do little for either, but as we highlight in our World Cup predictions, if there is a loser, they may as well pack their bags home.

Morocco are 13/10 to win the match and that is good value for a side in good nick. The Moroccans have been on form and remarkably haven’t lost a game for almost exactly a year. During that time, they have beaten the likes of Nigeria and Slovakia and look good to get their World Cup off to a perfect start as one of our best football predictions. 

Iran are 29/10 to win but off-field problems appear to be hampering Queiroz’s side. Kit supplier issues with Nike and a cancelled friendly last week has done little to help preparation. With just one World Cup win to their name, which came at France 98, the Iranians will be up against it, making an Iran win one of the football score predictions to stay away from.

The draw is 2/1 and that result could effectively end either sides’ hopes of progression with games against Portugal and Spain to follow. However, the draw is unlikely as Morocco have only drawn twice in their last 14 internationals, whilst Iran haven’t shared the spoils with an opponent in their last eight games.

Over 2.5 goals in the game is 21/10 and that may prove to be one of the best football betting tips based on the pair’s recent form. Morocco have scored two or more goals in six of their last seven internationals, whilst Iran have scored a goal a game in their last four outings.

The draw at half-time is 5/6 and that is today’s football prediction. The opening game in a World Cup group is unlikely to see plenty of intense action early on but do expect the game to liven up in the second 45.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Khalid Boutaib. The 31-year-old Moroccan striker may not be a spring chicken anymore but with seven goals in 15 appearances, the 6ft 3in giant is on form and ready to make Iran pay.

Boutaib to score anytime is 12/5 with Betfair and that is one of the best football predictions for this game.

2

We fancy:

Both teams to score and Morocco to win at 11/2 with bet365.

The pair have been consistent scorers of late and even though many may have thought this would be a bore draw, the stats suggest the opposite is in store.

3

It’s a long shot, but...

The 3-3 draw is 100/1 with BetVictor.

That is quite the long shot but based on the sides’ urgency to secure the three points or all but face elimination, it may just happen. 

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Written by Ian Waterhouse

Ian Waterhouse is a sports, fitness and betting writer with extensive experience in all sectors of the gambling industry. When he’s not trawling through the odds, you’ll probably find Ian on the golf course – probably the bunker!