Jump to content
Announcements
** December Poker League Result : 1st muttley, 2nd LIKE2FISH, 3rd kevsul **
** Football Tipster Competition Result : 1st Like A Roughie, 2nd Paperclip, 3rd Kingdom for, 4th Alastair, 5th Gray306 **
** December Naps Competition Result: 1st BARNSLEYCHOP, 2nd SADDLESORE, 3rd ZIDANE123, 4th ADAMROSS. KO Cup Winner BBBC, Most Winners: JCW **

Group B Predictions (Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran)


Recommended Posts

groupbodds.jpg

Group B will see two of the favourites for the tournament in Spain and Portugal go head-to-head. Last time Spain faced a rival favourite at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil they completely bottled it. Some would say Iran and Morocco are eliminated teams walking here but stranger things have happened. Carlos Queiroz has built a very defensively solid team there and they will be tough to beat. What do you guys think will be the bets to place in this group?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Sir Puntalot changed the title to Group B Predictions

Six months on from posting this and I feel a little more support for Portugal. After all, they are the reigning European champions and proved they can play tournament football. If they can take something from their game with Spain then they might progress as group winners. I do also feel Spain are looking stronger than I anticipated. Morocco and Iran definitely battling for bottom spot and I think Iran could could sneak a win there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This group is a though group because three most World cup quarter finalists are playing head to head. I see Portugal going through because Ronaldo will want to make his mark. This might be his last world cup as age is no more on his side. Morocco and Spain has always battled it out in the past. But I think Spain will prevail.

 

Team.             P     W    D.  L    PTS

Portugal        3.       2   1.    0      7 

Spain.            3.       1     2    0.   5

Morocco       3.     1.     0    2.    3

Iran.               3.     0      1.   2    1

  •  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Remember that Iranians went unbeaten in 18 qualifying games across two rounds. In the last round, Iran didn't concede a goal in nine games but finished with a 2-2 draw against Syria.

Iran will be playing their fifth World Cup, qualifying back-to-back for the first time. They went winless at the 2014 World Cup, but this time coach Carlos Queiroz is targeting the knockout stages and has vowed Iran will "not go to Russia as tourists."

  • Key player: Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan) - The 22-year-old forward emerged as a scoring threat at the 2015 Asian Cup and has already bagged 22 international goals.
  • Coach: Carlos Queiroz - The veteran Portuguese manager retained his job after the 2014 World Cup and has rebuilt the squad, bring in young players such as Azmoun.
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Dalan Quaice said:

I have done more analysis and have changed my position. Either Morocco or Iran to qualify for knockout stage. Clearly Spain will win the group. I see problem with Ronaldo.

Ronaldo clearly isn't the player he was at Euro 2016 but he's still head and shoulders ahead of anything Iran and Morocco can offer. I would be amazed if Spain and Portugal don't qualify. I agree that Iran won't be turned over easily but it will take something special for them to beat Spain or Portugal. Maybe in the extreme they could hold Portugal to a draw.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, waynecoyne said:

Ayoub el kaabi has 11 goals in 9 appearances for morocco. I don't know if he will start but is as big as 12/1 with b365 top morocco goalscorer so worth the risk imo.

 

Sold, to the man with the already bulging antepost portfolio! :)

Didn't feature at all in qualifying but made the squad after scoring 9 times in the African Nations Championship this year (an event I'd never even heard of). For a team not expected to bag too many goals he seems worth a small bet at that price. You've got to assume he's not been selected to spend all his time on the bench.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayoub_El_Kaabi

Link to post
Share on other sites

Morocco vs Iran

In a group where the other two teams are Portugal and Spain, I'm not saying the hopes of the losing team here will be over after this first match but... well,  it wouldn't be looking good would it! Morocco versus Iran in a 4pm BST kick-off at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg is all or nothing for these two underdogs of Group B.

Morocco did well to qualify for the World Cup in a group that also contained Ivory Coast, Gabon, and Mali. Throw into that the fact that they drew their first two qualification matches 0-0. The remarkable statistic from their qualification campaign being that they managed to not concede in all six of their group games.

Iran were also defensively superb in their qualification campaign. Carlos Queiroz's side set a new record for clean sheets when they held South Korea to a 0-0 draw on 31st August, 2017. That made it 12 consecutive qualifiers without conceding. Funnily enough, they conceded two goals in their last qualifier.

So you probably won't be surprised to hear I'm not expecting this game to be littered with goals. I can see neither team wanting to lose this game. They are two sides that base their play on a solid defensive base. However, I look at the attacking options of both sides and Iran just about sneak it for me. Sardar Azmoun is the stand out player for Iran with 23 goals in 33 caps. He also scored Alireza JahanBakhsh is also one player to watch who could create that defining moment.

Morocco might have some talent in the locker in the form of Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech but will it be enough? Striker Ayoub El Kaabi has scored 11 goals in 10 caps but can he do it on the big stage rather than against the likes of Mauritania, Guinea, and Libya? A few tipsters are backing Morocco to do the business here but I think Iran could get a narrow win.

Iran to win @ 4.00 with Betfair

Total Goals Scored under 2.5 @ 1.40 with Ladbrokes

Link to post
Share on other sites

Portugal vs Spain

Well, this preview has gotten a lot tougher after the developments today of Spain sacking head coach Julen Lopetegui. How will that affect them? It's Portugal versus Spain in the 7pm BST kick-off this coming Friday night at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi and it's anyone's bloody guess as to how it will go now!

The sensible money would suggest that both of these sides will progress to the last 16 so the winner of this game is simply deciding who will top the group. Unless, whoever is appointed as Spain head coach completely balls it up. This is the problem! This group just developed a new level of uncertainty.

Right, let's think about this logically. Portugal won the 2016 European Championship but they didn't exactly win over many fans with their turgid style of play. This is two years on from that success as well. Just look at some of the ageing players in their squad such as Beto (36), Bruno Alves (36), Pepe (35), Jose Fonte (34), Manuel Fernandes (32), Cristiano Ronaldo (33), and Ricardo Quaresma (34). Yes, Bruno Alves and Ricardo Quaresma are both still alive and playing football at a level deemed high enough for the Portuguese national team! Madness! Can those pensioners keep up with the young bucks they'll be up against? They finished top of their group in qualification but they only had to fend off Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, and Andorra. Half of those sides would struggle against my Sunday League team! That's a joke by the way. My Sunday League team aren't very good!

Spain might be in disarray but even a clown of a gaffer should navigate them through this group. David De Gea in goal, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos as the centre back pairing, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets in the middle of the park, and Diego Costa up front. There are not many more impressive spines to teams at the tournament than that. Even Pepe Mel could get this lot to the knock-out stages!

Here, I think Spain should have just enough to get the win. A new set of ideas from whoever comes in plus a galvanised squad coming together in the face of media scrutiny will combine to deliver a decent performance. I think Portugal will still prove difficult to beat. After all, there is no substitute for experience. I just think they reached their peak two years ago and even then they needed huge slices of luck. Spain to sneak a closely-fought victory here in a progressive game that could feel more like a friendly. Maybe I'm being too risky avoiding the draw but let's see! I fancy the new man to want to start positively in the Spanish hot seat.

Spain to score first @ 1.80 with Coral

Spain to win @ 2.15 with BetStars

Link to post
Share on other sites

Follow World Cup 2018 on https://footalyct.com/blog/

Morocco -0,5 @2,34 Pinnacle

I've been looking at Uruguay, hoping that odds will go higher when Egypt announced that Salah is ready to play, but odds dropped even harder... On this match, I see no reason of odds going up on Morocco as for me, besides Senegal they are the strongest African team on this tournament. Both teams had a successful qualification cycle, but competition in Africa is simply tougher, so it counts more for my opinion. With Belhanda, Z, yech and Harit behind the striker, with experienced Benatia leading their defense, I see Morocco as a serious threat in the group, waiting for a fail of Portugal or Spain. I think that in several groups, they would have very very good chances of qualifying, but unfortunately, they came in the group with two very strong European teams. Therefore, the draw isn't an option for either of those two teams. Both have to win all three points and hoping on a surprise against one of the favorized teams in the second or third match.

Without underestimating Queiroz and his team, I see them playing extremely defensively, trying to cover all the gaps and try with counters, especially over Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh. They cannot count on suspended midfielder Ezatolahi, which means that veteran Shoajei might have a chance to start. Even considering the bench, Renard will have much better options than Queiroz and I simply see odds above 2,34 very valuable.

I see Morocco causing too many problems on flanks, with Ziyech and Harit, while Belhanda will probably take the number 10 role and help Kaabi or Boutaib from the second plan. I see it as a 1 or 2-0 win for Morocco.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Sir Puntalot changed the title to Group B Predictions (Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran)
  • StevieDay1983 pinned this topic
  • StevieDay1983 unpinned, pinned and unpinned this topic

It's easy to say in hindsight but I was very tempted to back the draw but just felt Portugal wouldn't have enough. To be fair, they needed a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick that consisted of two set-pieces and a David De Gea error. How often does that all happen in one game?! Got to love football but it's a cruel mistress sometimes. A lot to ponder for the second round of games.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

It's easy to say in hindsight but I was very tempted to back the draw but just felt Portugal wouldn't have enough. To be fair, they needed a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick that consisted of two set-pieces and a David De Gea error. How often does that all happen in one game?! Got to love football but it's a cruel mistress sometimes. A lot to ponder for the second round of games.

I had a tasty little draw double on both Morocco/Iran and Spain/Portugal.

Iranians:(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Portugal vs Morocco

The fate of these two sides could be a lot closer to being decided this Wednesday afternoon when Portugal and Morocco go head-to-head in a 1pm BST kick-off at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It is probably fair to say that it's hard to look past Portugal after their thrilling opening game with Spain last Friday night.

Portugal were tipped by many to struggle to progress past the 2nd Round but many were still confident they would ease through this group. Cristiano Ronaldo reached the peak of his powers in their 3-3 draw with Spain and if he was able to tear that Spaniards apart that easily with a hat-trick then it's disconcerting what he might do to this Moroccan side.

Morocco suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Iran in their first game so they need a win here. A draw might well keep their hopes of reaching the next phase alive by a thread with a result then likely needed against Spain but realistically anything less than a win all but ends their involvement in this tournament. In fact, a win for Portugal and Spain in the second round of matches in this group would end Morocco's hopes of progressing from the group.

Unfortunately, Morocco are a side that base their entire approach on their stern defence and a progressive style of play. Iran's injury time winner was a gut-wrenching blow and it's hard to see any hope for them. Portugal will lap up Morocco being more attacking against them. I fear we could see Morocco come undone here. Portugal to win and continue on their expected path to the last 16. I think this experienced Portuguese side will pick Morocco off as the game goes on.

Portugal to win @ 1.64 with Bet365

Total Goals Scored Over 2.5 @ 2.38 with BetVictor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Iran vs Spain

Could there be the chance of a major shock on Wednesday night when Group B leaders Iran play 2010 world champions Spain in a 7pm BST kick-off at the Kazan Arena in Kazan? Well, to put it bluntly, no. However, this could be a slightly more intriguing game than many expect.

Iran saw their awesome defensive record shine once again in their opening match as they sealed a fortunate 1-0 win over Morocco. It was a win that I tipped in the face of many backing Morocco. I'm not confident we will see another clean sheet here though.

Carlos Queiroz has his team finely drilled and it's not going to be easy for a Spain team that were clearly looking a bit unsure of themselves during large periods against Portugal in their opening game. The big question is how the stubborn Iranian defence will deal with the aggressive nature of Diego Costa and the creative ingenuity driving towards them in the Spanish midfield?

Spain will be looking to build on their 3-3 draw with Portugal in the opening game. It was a match that saw three points wrestled from their grasp by Cristiano Ronaldo but it is unlikely to hit their confidence. This is a Spanish side packed with experience and quality. Even with the drama surrounding Julen Lopetegui's departure and the appointment of Fernando Hierro, I'm certain we will see an assured Spanish display here.

Iran know that a draw would keep their hopes alive going into the final game with Portugal. Some could argue that they stand a decent chance of getting something from that Portugal game. So I don't expect the Iranian approach to change here. Even if they concede, I anticipate they will look to keep the score-line down so we might not see a classic. Spain to win but it might be a dull affair.

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 2.04 with Unibet

Spain to win to nil @ 1.62 with BetVictor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over 2,5 goals @2,28

Maybe that looks like a strange pick to someone, but let me explain why do I think that this match will go over... In the first match of Morocco, I took them as winners but they failed against Iran. Even if it sounds strange as they lost to Iran I have to admit that they played very well! Having almost 70% of possession, creating several very good chances, but they were poor at finishing. Expectations of their nation were big, as everyone knows that they have one of the most talented generations but they failed. Still, regarding the 3-3 result between Spain and Portugal, they still have chances. But to take those chances, they will need to get points from two European giants. As they are sitting at the bottom of the table, it is gonna be a must-win match for them. Portugal is considered to be a favorite, but on the first match, they didn't especially impress me. Combination of Ronaldo and De Gea brought them a big point, which was, in my opinion, undeserved. They are a decent side, they have much more than just Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad, but I still think that Morocco can mess it up against them. Why not taking Morocco +0,5 than? The answer is simple. I expect Morocco to go out and attack Portugals without any calculations. It's true, that even with the draw, they can have some chances, but they will have to beat Spain with enough goals of difference... Therefore I think, that if they fail today, they won't see the knockout phase of this tournament. I actually think that this side of Morocco can have a bigger ball possession, create more chances in 90 minutes than Portugals, but the problem will be the same as it was for Spanish team - counterattacks. Ronaldo has shown that he came on WC very determined and in very good shape and counters with him, Guedes and Bernardo will lead to goals... Therefore I like odds, given by bookmakers as they fancy under here. I would give even more than 50% of chances to over, so... value!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KikoCy said:

Portugal - Morocco

HT/FT: X/1 @ 4.2

Portugal stutter against inferior teams and Morocco are solid defensively. I can see Portugal scoring in the 2nd half and holding on to the lead.

The way this game has started this could be 3-3 by half-time!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, StevieDay1983 said:

The way this game has started this could be 3-3 by half-time!

:lol

Ah I am glad it was an early goal to get it out of the way.

My 12/1 treble is still alive at least!

Portugal - To Win Either 1-0 - 2-0 @ 3.300
Uruguay 2 - 0 @ 1.775 (Anytime Correct Score - 90 Mins)
Spain - To Win Either 1-0 - 2-0 - 3-0 @ 2.050

Also have a double of both Spain and Uruguay to win to nil, holding thumbs...

:cigar

Good luck Stevie!

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, KikoCy said:

:lol

Ah I am glad it was an early goal to get it out of the way.

My 12/1 treble is still alive at least!

Portugal - To Win Either 1-0 - 2-0 @ 3.300
Uruguay 2 - 0 @ 1.775 (Anytime Correct Score - 90 Mins)
Spain - To Win Either 1-0 - 2-0 - 3-0 @ 2.050

Also have a double of both Spain and Uruguay to win to nil, holding thumbs...

:cigar

Good luck Stevie!

Annoyed by that game. The amount of clear cut chances that were snatched at or not converted was unreal. On another day that could have been over 3.5 or even 4.5 goals let alone 2.5 goals. As if Portugal hadn't destroyed my life enough already by knocking us out of the semi-finals at Euro 2016!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...