The drama continues as the FIFA World Cup group stages come to an end. Let’s take a look at the last fixture between Iran and USA, which will be played in the magnificent AI Thumama Stadium. The current situation in the group is Iran in second place with three points after their late win against Wales and USA with two points. A draw would see Iran progressing to the knockout stages, and the USA knocked out.
Looking at the FIFA rankings, these two countries are closely knit as Iran are in 20th place and the USA are in 16th place.
A brilliant performance against Wales saw Iran clinch a dramatic victory, placing them in contention to make it out of the group. Iran were not the one tipped to make it out of the group, but that is football and great merit to them. Before the dismissal of Wayne Hennessy, Iran hit the post twice in the same attacking move and coming from the outsider in the game, we’d say that it’s quite impressive.
Looking ahead at the encounter against the USA, Iran will need to push on the same energy and motivation to move the ball up the pitch and test the opposition’s defensive line. They will be up against a side that has a lot of young players that will contest every ball.
Iran will be wary of the task ahead, and should they earn themselves a draw against the USA, they will progress to the knockout stage for the first time in their history. Doing just that with a 1-1 draw in priced at 21/4 (6.25), with Roozbeh Cheshmi to score anytime during the game at 22/1 (21.00)
The USA will be kicking themselves that they couldn’t see out their lead against Wales in the opening game, as they would have been in a much better position to progress out of the group. Now they will focus on Iran and hope that they can pick their defence apart just like England did in the opening game.
Gregg Berhalter will hope that his team can produce a bit more in the final third as opposed to the game against England. There were spells during the game where a simpler option could have been chosen, making the attacking move more efficient. With inexperienced squads such as that of USA, such difficulties are bound to be encountered.
Match betting odds
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing