Portugal has the one thing that nobody else in tournament can boast. In Cristiano Ronaldo they have the ultimate weapon. Opening day demonstrated why Ronaldo is considered the best player on Earth. His hat trick against Spain gave Portugal a 3-3 draw. A tie match that felt like a win with the World Cup Betting Odds. True, it was a reminder of Ronaldo’s greatness. But it was also indicative of his team’s weakness. Portugal is frequently too reliant upon their marquee man. And often lacking on its back end. Fortunately, Iran is incapable of capitalizing.
2018 FIFA World Cup Iran vs. Portugal
Date and Time: Monday, June 25, 2018, 10 a.m. ET
Location: Mordovia Arena, Saransk
World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Portugal||-1 (+136)||2 (-124)|
|Iran||+1 (-151)||2 (+109)|
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FOX
Iran’s Lack of Skill
Despite beating Morocco in their opener Iran isn’t a serious contender. Their lack of skill makes them a World Cup Betting Odds long shot. And their opening match victory was something of a fluke. Morocco gave them an own goal at the 90 minute mark. Head coach Carlos Queiroz is ultra conservative for a reason. His Iranian squad isn’t capable of anything else. His only shot is to emphasize defense. And then take breakouts from there. This is Iran’s second consecutive World Cup. Much of that is based on their weak qualification group.
Tough Road Ahead for Iran
Queiroz has remarked about his pride in team improvement. And the value of their experience at Brazil in 2014. Iran’s coach wants a knockout stage berth. But it’s not likely to happen. Sure, they didn’t allow a goal until the 10th qualification match. But offense is lacking. That’s problematic against a prolific team such Portugal. Iran’s weak competition hasn’t helped. They are often overwhelmed against World Class teams. Team Melli is stuck in a brutally difficult Group. Spain and Portugal clearly outclass them. Both are top tier perennial contenders.
Portugal Head coach Fernando Santos deserves credit for a culture change. He has instilled a strong will to win. And also, a unity of purpose. Those qualities were lacking in the past. And were detrimental to Portugal’s sportsbook online prospects. Since taking over in September of 2014 Portugal lost just once out of 24 matches. Best of all The Selecao no longer wilts under pressure. The 2016 Euro championship offers no greater proof.
Is Portugal Relying too much on Veterans?
If there is a weakness with Portugal it is too much reliance on veterans. Additionally, a lack of support for Ronaldo looms. There are too many times that Ronaldo has to carry the team. An aging defense proved vulnerable against Spain. As a free wheeling team, they can leave openings. Santos must tactically find a high wire balancing act. Portugal enters this tournament with fewer stars. On the positive that has forced more teamwork. And its not like all of that star power produced titles in the past anyway.
Matchup to WatchIran lacks the firepower to exploit Portugal. This is a huge World Cup Betting Odds matchup edge for The Selecao. Portugal has the best player on the pitch. If all else fails Ronaldo will deliver. Just ask Spain.World Cup Betting Odds PicksPortugal should control this match for a win.World Cup Betting Online Pick: PortugalWorld Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Portugal 2, Iran 0