It will take a special fixture to match or overtake last week’s Iberian derby as game of the tournament for pure entertainment value, but the 3-3 draw means that Spain will have to get three points against Iran on Wednesday night if they are to remain control of their Group B destiny. Iran’s shock win over Morocco on matchday one, their first at a World Cup in 20 years, means that heading into Wednesday’s clash, the Asians are two points clear in first place.
Despite their problems against Portugal, which included an uncharacteristic David de Gea error, Spain remain one of the most complete squads in Russia and interim coach Fernando Hierro will be pleased with how his side fought back from a goal down following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui just days earlier.
Diego Costa scored twice – including a fine solo effort – in that match and the Chelsea forward is likely to play a key role in the remainder of the group stage, as well as getting Spain into the latter stages, though there is a lot of pressure on him to perform with Alvaro Morata omitted from the 23-man squad. He is currently available at a generous 1.45 to finish as his side’s top scorer, with Isco his nearest challenger at 12.0.
Iran, in contrast, lack stardust in their team but they beat Morocco courtesy of Aziz Bouhaddouz’s injury time winner, which shows that they cannot be ruled out in a World Cup that has so far seen several upsets. Avoiding defeat would set them up to reach the last-16 for the first time in their history, though Portugal, the European champions, await on matchday three.
Spain were open at the back in their first game, but their overall performance means that they are strong favourites to get their first three points of the 2018 World Cup and overtake Iran in Group B. Tipbet have just under 100 markets to bet on for this Group B clash with the Iberians at 1.22. Their opponents (15.2) will have to perform at their best to try and frustrate Spain, with a draw (6.25) considered an excellent result ahead of their final match.