Match Preview: Iran v Spain

Spain will be looking for their first win of the 2018 World Cup- and preferably by several goals- as they take on Iran on Wednesday (7pm- UK time)

With the race to win the group likely to come down to goal difference now after their 3-3 draw with Portugal, Spain will be looking to rack up a few goals as well as winning to ensure they go in to the last group game above Portugal; even if Portugal beat Morocco.

Iran on the other hand will be looking to cause a huge upset by qualifying and have a got themselves in a good position after their winner deep in to stoppage time against Morocco. And now if they can get at least a point against Portugal or Spain, they may just sneak through if results go their way.

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Team News

Neither side have any injury concerns after match day one, but eyes will be on the Spanish team sheet to see whether Hierro has decided to keep faith with De Gea after his error in the first game. De Gea let a shot straight at him from Ronaldo slip through his hands and after a similar mistake in a friendly draw with Switzerland not long ago, it may alarm new boss Hierro that the Man U keeper is out of form. The other options Hierro has are Kepa Arrizabalaga of Ahtletic Bilbao and Napoli ‘keeper Pepe Reina.

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Carvajal is now available for Spain too after suffering an injury in the Champions League Final. This means that Hierro has another big decision to make by deciding whether to put him straight back in to the lineup for Nacho Fernandez who covered there for the Portugal match. Nacho did score a superb goal but also gave away the penalty so there is no clear answer as to whether Carvajal should start.

Iran will most likely stick with the stubborn side that earned the win against Morocco. They’ll no doubt be looking to sit deep and frustrate Spain for as long as possible.

Players to watch

Spain’s Diego Costa bagged a superb brace against Portugal. He wriggled off several players for the first goal, before striking superbly in to the bottom corner to equalize for Spain. He then got on the end of a Busquets header to tap in to equalize for Spain for the second time, making it 2-2 after 55 minutes. However he looked annoyed when being brought off with over 10 minutes to go in search of his hat trick and will look to show why how should be on he pitch for the full 90 minutes.

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Sardar Azmoun scored 11 times for Iran in qualifying and if they are to nick a win, Sardar is most likely to get the goal to do that. Azmoun plays for Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League and will be looking to impress in the stadium where he plays his club football

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It might be tough for Spain against a strong, solid Iran side, but in a must win game for Spain it’s hard to see them not winning.

Prediction: Iran 0-2 Spain



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