World Cup 2018: Portugal vs Iran prediction, team news and preview as European champions look to seal last-16 place

By On June 23, 2018

World Cup 2018: Portugal vs Iran prediction, team news and preview as European champions look to seal last-16 place

By Alec Shilton22nd June 2018, 7:47 pmUpdated: 22nd June 2018, 7:47 pm

CRISTIANO RONALDO may have his eye on the Golden Boot â€" but Portugal must not take their eye off the ball when they face Iran.

Ronaldo's four goals have fired Portugal to four points in Group B and a draw would be enough to see them reach the last 16.

Cristiano Ronaldo has four goals in two games at the World Cup

However, if Spain beat Morocco and Iran pull off a shock win then the Asian nation would qualify from Group B at Portugal's expense.

Here is all you need to know about the game in Saransk on Monday...

Best bet

Ronaldo to score the goal in a 1-0 win with Betway is 12-1. Iran defend stubbornly and Portugal don't score bagfuls. But when they do find the net it always seems to be that man.

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Fact me

  • This is Iran and Portugal’s second encounter at the World Cup after 2006. Portugal won 2-0 thanks to goals from Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo â€" it was Ronaldo’s first ever goal in the tournament.
  • Portugal have won three of their four World Cup games against Asian opposition, losing against host nation South Korea in 2002.
  • Iran are winless in seven World Cup meetings against European sides (D1 L6), with that draw coming against Scotland in 1978.
  • Current Iran national coach Carlos Queiroz had two spells managing Portugal during 1991-1993 and 2008-2010. He took charge during the 2010 World Cup, overseeing their biggest ever victory in the competition (7-0 vs North Korea).
  • Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco last time out was their first World Cup clean sheet since a goalless draw with Brazil in 2010, ending a run of five matches without a shutout.
  • A win against Portugal will guarantee that Iran are in the World Cup knockout stages for the first time in their history â€" failing to make it out of the group in each of their four World Cup appe arances.
  • Iran have never won their final game of the World Cup group stages (D1 L3), scoring three and conceding 10 in these matches.
  • Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has scored each of his country’s last five goals at the World Cup; the last player to do so for a particular nation was Oleg Salenko for Russia in 1994 (6 in a row).
  • Against Morocco, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 85th international goal for Portugal, the most of any European player at international level in football history, overtaking Ferenc Puskas’ 84 goals for Hungary and Spain combined.
  • Should he feature in this match, Joao Moutinho will make his 113th appearance for the Portuguese national side, overtaking Nani (112) to become the third most capped player in the country’s history, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (152 before this game) and Luis Figo (127).
A draw will be enough to see Portugal qualify for the last 16
Cristiano Ronaldo stands sideways for Portugal World Cup 2018 national anthem in sign of patriotismSource: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal

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