Iran vs Qatar
Asia – 2018 World Cup Qualifier
Date: Thursday; 1-September-2016
Kick-off: 17:30 UK
Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran.
Iran are looking for consecutive World Cup appearance when they resume their qualifying campaign at home against Qatar on Thursday evening.
The Team Melli were handed an easy draw in the second round of the qualifiers as they were grouped together with Oman, Turkmenistan, Guam and India. However, they were held to draws in away fixtures by Turkmenistan and Oman, but six wins from remaining matches ensure their route to third round as group winners.
While Qatar surprisingly top their group ahead of China. They won in 7 of their 8 matches, with a loss in their trip to China on the final match day. It is expected to be an uphill task in the third round as they have to battle it out against top Asian sides like South Korea, Iran, Uzbekistan, China and Syria for a top three finish to progress to the next round.
Iran vs Qatar: Head-to-Head
The latest meeting between these two sides was during the group phase of the 2015 Asia Cup. Iran won it by a 1-0 margin, helped by a goal from the young FC Rostov striker Sardar Azmoun.
Iran remain unbeaten in the last six World Cup qualifying fixtures against Qatar with 3 wins and 3 draws. It is worthwhile noting that three of the last four were draws.
Also, five of the last six meetings between these two sides in all competitions saw less than three goals.
Iran vs Qatar: Prediction
Iran are on a 11-match unbeaten run in AFC World Cup qualification fixtures with 9 wins and 2 draws. Also their last defeat could be dated back to November 2011. And with a strong squad at their disposal and home advantage on their side, Iran must win this opening fixture against Qatar quite comfortably.
This match is likely to see under 2.5 goals as only one of the last six meeting between these two sides have seen 3 or more goals. So I will be also backing my correct score prediction of a 2-0 win for the home side at the odds of 5/1 (6.00).
Iran vs Qatar: Betting Tips
Iran to win at 8/15 (1.53).
Under 2.5 goals at 7/10 (1.70).