Iran and the USA take on each other for a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup. Iran defeated Wales to recover from a devastating loss to England. They are now in second place before the game begins and, should they win, will make their first-ever round-of-16 appearance—possibly even as group victors, should England lose against Wales. If Wales loses, Iran might also be able to advance with a draw.
The American team’s performance at the World Cup hasn’t been particularly impressive given that the majority of its players are based at European clubs and some have also competed in the Champions League. While they haven’t won since hammering Grenada in the Caribbean in June, coming close to losing to England was still a good result, and like Iran, they at least have some control over their own destiny. They progress if they win; if they draw, they lose since Iran has a point advantage, and they are eliminated.
Iran team news
After an injury-plagued start to his club season with Bayer Leverkusen, star striker Sardar Azmoun has only played 81 minutes in Iran’s opening two games at 2018 World Cup. Due to receiving two yellow cards thus far, Alireza Jahanbakhsh is sidelined, while Roozbeh Cheshmi is vying for the starting position after scoring against Wales.
USA team news
Despite other teams making modifications, Gregg Berhalter stuck with the same back four and midfield for the first two games. Josh Sargent was replaced by Haji Wright as the only change for the England game. The United States still lacks sufficient attacking penetration.
Iran vs USA World Cup prediction
Iran has undoubtedly played better in the first two games than England, despite having suffered a severe loss against them. They had a great finish in the 6-2 loss and definitely ought to have scored against Wales much earlier.
Prediction: Iran 2-1 USA
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