Iran – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager: Carlos Quiroz
Captain: Javad Nekounam
FIFA World Ranking: 42
World Cup Appearances: 3
Best World Cup: Group Stage
Iran Team Profile
Iran will be one of the rank outsiders heading to Brazil 2014, trading at around 1,500/1 with most bookmakers ahead of the kick off. This is just their fourth appearance at the World Cup Finals and they are still looking to past the first round for the first time. That task clearly is not going to be easy though as they go in a group alongside one of the outright favourites Argentina, European entrants Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nigeria. The Iranians are expected to finish bottom of the group.
Iran kick off their campaign against Argentina. They qualified through the AFC zone, topping their qualification group over South Korean. The feature of their qualification was definitely their defence, which conceded just the two goals along the way. However, they did have problems going forward in their last qualifying round as they only managed two goals in their opening five matches but produced the goods at the end of the campaign when it mattered most, a 1-0 win in South Korea sealing their return to the World Cup.
Their only win so far in a World Cup came in 1998, which many regard as being the golden era of Iran football. They took a 2-1 win over the United States, but then when they went back to the finals at Germany 2006 they only managed to pick up one point and that was against debutants Angola. There looks to be an uphill task ahead for them, if for no other reason than they just aren’t experienced enough against such higher level opposition.
They have a well known man at the helm to guide them, as former Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz is the man who got them to Brazil. With stints at Real Madrid, along with international duties for his home nation Portugal, the United Arab Emirates a n d South Africa, the 61 year old is a well travelled man. He took over in Iran back in 2011 on a two year contract, which is due to expire at the end of the 2014 World Cup. He hasn’t been afraid to draft in non-Iran based players into the squad. Usually displaying a calm demeanour, he almost sparked a riot after his Iran side beat South Korea in qualification, raising a fist at the Korean coach which offense was taken at, with the two teams almost getting into a big scrap.
Iran Key Players
Captain Javad Nekounam is the big man in their squad and the talisman that the rest of the squad will look to. This will likely be his swansong on the international stage at 33 years old. He will sit in the midfield and provide some creativity for the side. His partnership in the middle of the pitch with Masoud Shojaei is likely to be the bright spark of their performances in South America.
In looking for Iranian goals, then you are going to be looking at Belgium based Reza Ghoochannejhad, the Charlton Athletic man looking to lead the next generation of football in the country alongside Karim Ansarifard. Ghoochannejhad had netted nine goals in eleven international appearances at the time of writing.
Being one of the so called emerging nations in world football, there is not a lot of strength in the squad when you stand it up alongside the kind of quality that most of the other nations in the competition will bring to the table. If their defensive strengths don’t show up at Brazil 2014, the ones they showed through qualification, then it could be a long three matches for them in their group.
There is a just a lack of experience at the World level for Iran and with only a handful of players in their squad actually playing outside of the country, like Fulham’s Ashkan Dejagah and NEC’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh, then there isn’t a lot of quality running throughout the squad. They are unlikely to be able to do too much with the ball when they get it to hurt opposition.
Iran Qualification for the World Cup
Iran were pretty comfortable through their qualification, if you consider that all but one of their eight games were really low scoring affairs. Six of their other seven matches were all settled by a 1-0 scoreline. It meant that they averaged exactly a goal per game, and were outscored by South Korean and Uzbekistan. Iran’s goal tally was only boosted by a 4-0 home victory over Lebanon. Still, one could say that it was steady progress and they achieved their goal of getting back to the World Cup finals without too much drama.
Iran World Cup Betting Odds
Iran to win the World Cup: 2,500/1 at Bet365
Argentina World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group F
|Su 15th June||23.00||Argentina v Bosnia||2:1|
|Su 15th June||20.00||Iran v Nigeria||0:0|
|Mo 16th June||17.00||Argentina v Iran||1:0|
|Sa 21st June||23.00||Nigeria v Bosnia||1:0|
|We 25th June||17.00||Nigeria v Argentina||2:3|
|We 25th June||17.00||Bosnia v Iran||3:1|
World Cup 2014 Group F Table