(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
FIFA World Cup: Portugal vs Iran- Match Preview
25 Jun 2018
Iran are desperate to keep their World Cup dream alive but it looks an uphill task as they face Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in the final game of their group stage.
Portugal are currently on 4 points with a win against Morocco and a draw against Spain. On the other hand, Iran have 3 points.
Here is our pre-match report.
Iran have never made it past group stage
Iran have never made it past the group stage in the World Cup.
They know a win against Ronaldo and his men can set this record straight.
It may look like a tough task for the Asian side, but this World Cup has been full of upsets so don't be surprised if Iran manage to pull a shocker.
The beast Cristiano Ronaldo will be difficult to contain
Iran will definitely have a tough time containing Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks hungry for goals.
The Portuguese sharpshooter has already bagged four goals in the tournament so far.
Notably, all of Portugal's goals have been scored by Ronaldo.
Iran, on the other hand, are winless in 7 World Cup encounters against European teams.
They have lost six encounters and drawn just one.
Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal against Iran
These two teams met once in the World Cup back in 2006.
Portugal won 2-0 on that day courtesy of goals from Deco and the dangerous Cristiano Ronaldo.
The goal against Iran was Ronaldo's first ever goal in the World Cup.
Portugal have played Asian teams on 4 occasions in the World Cup and have won 3 of the encounters.
Moutinho and Hajsafi racing against time to get fit
Iran's defensive ace Ehsan Hajsafi's fitness seems to be a concern for their final group game but he should make the XI.
The left-back walked out in Iran's last game against Spain after an hour of play.
For Portugal, mid-field maestro Joao Moutinho is down with an illness but should recover in time for their final game of the group stage.
Iran: Probable starting XI
Ali Beiranvand, Ehsan Haji Safi, Morteza Pouraliganji, Ramin Rezaeian, Majid Hosseini and Saeid Ezatolahi, Vahid Amiri, Omid Ebrahimi, Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun
Portugal: Probable starting XI
Rui Patricio, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, Cedric Soares, William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario, Goncalo Guedes and Cristiano Ronaldo.