With 9 days to the kick off of the World cup, Iran made record Tuesday as the first participating country to arrive Russia.
Placed 36th on the FIFA Ranking, Iran are playing in their fifth world cup and will begin their campaign in Group B against arch rivals Morocco on June 15, just a day after the opening game between host Russia and Saudi Arabia June 14.The Iranians first made appearance at the World’s most celebrated sports fiesta at the 1978 edition hosted and won by Argentina after beating Netherlands 3-1 in Buenos Aires, in front of 71,483 spectators.
The team has never gone beyond the first round in their four previous appearances. At the last edition in Brazil, the Iranians were grouped with Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Argentina and Nigeria progressing to the next stage while Iran finished last in the group with only one point after pulling a goalless draw against Nigeria, losing by a lone goal to Argentina and losing 3-1 to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Early arrival by Iran may not unconnected with a desire to acclimatize with intent to do better in Russia.
The team has this time been pitched against Morocco, 2010 champions Spain and Portugal. The country will take on Spain on June 20 at the Kazan Arena stadium with the last group match against Portugal billed for June 25.
Forecast of the match against Spain indicate 80% chance of Spain winning 15% of the match ending in a draw and just 5% chance of Iran winning.
In the tie against Portugal, forecast indicate 70% of Portugal winning , 19% of the match ending in a draw and only 11% of Iran winning.
The opening match against Morocco however fared better with 32% chance of ending in a draw, 27% chance of Iran winning and 41% chance of Morocco winning.