Fifa World Cup - Russia 2018

Iran vs Portugal match build up #worldCup


Iran may be without Olympiakos defender Ehsan Hajsafi, who sustained a thigh injury against Spain.

Milad Mohammadi, who plays his club football for Akhmat Grozny in Russia, is likely to come in if Hajsafi is ruled out.

Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho is a doubt after missing several days of training through illness.

Raphael Guerreiro has recovered from a minor leg injury but struggled against Morocco and could be replaced.


Iran were predicted to finish last in this group in some quarters. They could still end up winning it.

Team Melli, ranked 37 in the world, go into their final match with a chance to reach the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in their history. Spain’s opening match against Portugal may have been the game of the tournament so far, but this fixture should have its own layers of intrigue.

A win is needed to guarantee qualification for Iran. If they claim a victory and Spain fail to win, they would reach the last 16 as group winners. For Portugal, a draw would be enough to go through.

As the nation ranked fourth in the world, and reigning European champions, Portugal should start as clear favourites.

However, Iran have a wildcard in their corner. Coach Carlos Queiroz had two spells managing his native Portugal, including at the 2010 World Cup, where they made the last 16. If Queiroz can utilise his inside knowledge, it may be a feat he replicates at the expense of his former employers.



  • This is Iran and Portugal’s second World Cup encounter. In 2006, Cristiano Ronaldo’s first World Cup goal, and one from Deco, earned Portugal a 2-0 win.


  • Iran have never won their final World Cup group stage game (D1, L3), scoring three and conceding 10 in those matches.
  • Team Melli are winless against European opposition at the World Cup, losing six of their seven fixtures.
  • Iran failed to register a shot on target against Spain for the first time in 14 World Cup games.
  • The defeat to Spain was a first in 24 competitive matches overall.
  • Iran are aiming to win two group games at the World Cup for the first time.
  • During his time coaching Portugal, Iran boss Carlos Queiroz oversaw their biggest World Cup victory, a 7-0 win over North Korea in 2010.


  • Portugal have won three of their four World Cup games against Asian opposition, losing against host nation South Korea in 2002.
  • Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco last time out was their first World Cup clean sheet in six attempts, since a goalless draw with Brazil in 2010.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored his country’s last five goals at the World Cup. The last player to do so for one nation was Russia’s Oleg Salenko in 1994, who scored six in a row.
  • Ronaldo has successfully converted all four of his shots on target at this World Cup.
  • Joao Moutinho could earn a 113th cap against Iran, overtaking Nani (112) to become Portugal’s third-most capped player. Only Ronaldo (152) and Luis Figo (127) have more.

Source: BBC News

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