On-Again, off-again: Morocco vs. Iran World Cup Betting

Betting the 2018 World Cup Morocco vs. Iran Odds

This Group B World Cup betting matchup will pit against one another two national teams that are just like that annoying couple that’s always breaking up and getting back together again. You know the one. Additionally, members of both squads’ coaching staffs agreed that their tournament opener will be like a final unto itself. Aww, how cute. “It will be like our World Cup final – we’ll play like we are playing for our lives,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said, and Morocco assistant coach Mustapha Hadji added that “The first game will be our final. It will be a tough game because we watched Iran in qualifying and they have a very good team and a very good spirit. But if we win, we have a great opportunity to reach the second round. That’s what we are coming for.”

  • 15 June 2018 18:00 MSK (UTC+3)

  • Morocco vs. Iran

  • Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

Iran became the first Asian country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and in the process set a record for the most straight clean sheets in World Cup qualification with 12 games, or 1121 minutes, without allowing a goal. Morocco defended its way to the World Cup as well. “It’s a great team with fantastic players and a great coach [Herve Renard],” Queiroz, who previously managed Real Madrid and the South African national team, said of the Moroccans. “In qualifying, they did not lose one game nor concede one goal so that tells you everything about the quality of the team.” all things considered, people betting on the World Cup should expect a low World Cup betting total on this one.

Morocco last appeared in a World Cup in 1998, when they drew 2-2 with Norway and beat Scotland 3-0, but a Norway upset over Brazil left them out of the second round. “It was of the law of football. You just have to accept it,” Hadji, who was the 1998 African Footballer of the Year and should not be confused with Johnny Quest’s sidekick, said. “I played in front of all my friends and family so it was a special time. Everyone was waiting for Morocco to make it through to the second round but sometimes that’s just the way it is. Maybe if we got through we would have been beaten badly and people would have forgotten all about it. But we played some very good football and that will always stay in the hearts of the Moroccan people.”

And Iran (I ran so far away, I just ran, I ran all night and day) needs to either get its stuff together or get ready for some serious disappointment, and Queiroz isn’t afraid to rub salt in the wound. “I’m here to say Iran needs special local preparations,” he said. “I don’t care about the threats and what they have been trying to do to stop me talking. The Iranian fans deserve special World Cup preparations. We need to implement special preparations to bring honour and pride. They can fire me, I don’t care, but it’s time to express my opinion because the Iranian fans deserve that and the players deserve full support to be ready for this competition.” Oh my brother, testify! Defy the World Cup betting odds!

Portugal-Spain Iberian Peninsula World Cup Betting

Betting Odds and game preview Portugal vs. Spain

Portugal and Spain, who occupy most of the Iberian Peninsula, will add, in the form of a World Cup betting matchup, a new chapter in the storied history of their relations with one another, which commenced when King Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as King of Portugal on July 25th 1139, following the Battle of Ourique (which was, by the way, what fans betting on the World Cup would call an upset). Spain and Portugal are the two most recent European champions, and the former eliminated the latter in the round of 16 on the way to winning their first World Cup in 2010.

  • 15 June 2018 21:00 MSK (UTC+3)

    Portugal vs. Spain

  • Olympic Stadium, Sochi

Portugal will, to the surprise of absolutely no one, live and die by Cristiano Ronaldo, who is actually going through a rough patch in the Spanish Liga. “You can only win the European championship and the World Cup by playing well. The concept of what is pretty or not is something else,” coach Fernando Santo said earlier this year. Portugal started their road to Russia with a 2-0 loss in Switzerland, but then went on a nine-game winning run to finish on top of their group on goal difference, turning the tables on the Neutral Ones by the same score in their last game. Ronaldo scored 15 of their goals on the way to his fourth World Cup which, at the ripe old age of 33, is, for all intents and purposes, his final chance to win the big one.

Even with the likes of Ricardo Quaresma, Bernardo Silva, Nani, Joao Moutinho, and Goncalo Guedes on the roster, Portugal’s World Cup betting odds are as good as their most capped player their record scorer with 79 goals, and Ronaldo is well aware of that, throwing a hissy fit every time he doesn’t get the ball in a free kick, penalty, and play, but, as they say, it isn’t bragging if you can back it up, and he backs it up with two European championship finals, one semi-final, one quarter-final and a World Cup semi-final.

Meanwhile, head coach Julian Lopetegui’s youth movement has been a shot in the arm of the Spanish national team, which is undefeated in 16 games under the former Real Madrid, Logroñés, Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano goalie. David de Gea, Koke, Isco, Thiago Alcantara and Alvaro Morata are among the new faces who have come to join the more established Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, David Silva (Spain’s fourth highest goal-scorer ever with 11 in 15 matches), Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

“I believe that the best thing a coach has to do is optimize and make the most of the virtues of his players” Lopetegui said. “I think that the best quality of Spanish players is their passing ability and individual technique. Logically, we have to take advantage of that.” The manager added that “Spain can’t play catenaccio [the Italian “door-bolt” defensive system] because that wouldn’t make the most of the quality of our players.” Instead, the Spaniards has gone back to the “tiki-taka” short-passing style that made them World Cup betting behemoths in 2010.

Group of 77 World Cup Betting: Egypt versus Uruguay

Egypt versus Uruguay 2018 World Cup betting Analysis

Egypt in Uruguay are fellow members of the United Nations coalition of developing nations known as the Group of 77 but will be, as far as World Cup betting goes, foes. The Egyptians have qualified for the tournament for the first time since 1990, which Reuters likens with Sir Galahad finding the Holy Grail. Egypt reached the African playoffs for the previous World Cup but a 6-1 humiliation in Ghana not only took them down a peg but also foretold further misfortune when Egypt was paired up with the Ghanaians again in qualifying for the 2018 finals, though such fears on the part of people betting on the World Cup proved to be unfounded.

  • 15 June 2018 17:00 YEKT (UTC+5)
  • Egypt vs. Uruguay
  • Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

Retired Egyptian footballer Mohamed ‘El Magico’ Aboutrika, one of the greatest African footballers of all time, expects his home country’s national team to vie for second place with the other three teams that are not Uruguay. “The draw is good for Egypt and also for Saudi Arabia. The order of Egypt’s games by facing Uruguay then Russia then Saudi Arabia is also good,” Aboutrika said. “This group calls us to think about advancing to the next round in the World Cup. I see that the first spot in the group is reserved for Uruguay with Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia battling out for the second place.”

“We have a strong motive when we face Saudi Arabia because of the renowned game in the 1999 Confederations Cup and Egypt’s 5-0 defeat. God willing Egypt is capable of qualifying from this group.” Group A World Cup betting faves Uruguay appeared in the World Cup on 12 occasions between 1930 and 2014 and won it in 1930 and 1950 in what became known as the Maracanaço. They have reached the semi-finals five times. Additionally, the Uruguayans have won the Copa America 15 times, most recently in 2011, thus becoming the South American which has won it the most times. The once and future head coach Oscar Washington Tabarez is a legend who coached the national team in Italy 1990, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. The attack-oriented coach is well known for his clever tactics and fatherly approach to his players.  Uruguay qualified for the 2018 World Cup in second place in its group after defeating Bolivia in the final game, 4-2 on October 11, 2017.

Egypt once met Uruguay in a friendly match in 2006 in Alexandria which resulted in a 2-0 Uruguay win.  Uruguay’s lethal attacking line includes Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani. The team captain is Diego Godin of Atlético Madrid. Not to be outdone, Egypt manager Héctor Cúper says that Real Madrid has set its sights on forward Mohamed Salah, who currently plays for Liverpool FC. “I’ve received confirmed news revealing Real Madrid’s interest in Salah, but we won’t accelerate these developments,” Cúper said. “For me, he finds himself in an incredible situation at the moment.” Salah, who looks uncannily like Jinder Mahal, has played for Chelsea, Basel, Fiorentina and Roma, and made 22 appearances for Liverpool this season, with 17 goals and five assists. Other English-based players on Egypt’s roster include Ahmed Elmohamady of Aston Villa, Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal, Ahmed Hegazy from West Bromwich Albion and the promising Ramadan Sobhi of Stoke City. It has yet to be seen whether they can defy the World Cup betting odds against Uruguay.

Well-Oiled Machines? Russia-Arabia World Cup Betting

Russia-Arabia World Cup Betting Analysis

The status of the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Arabia as petroleum superpowers doesn’t necessarily translate to world cup betting. That is to say, neither is among the most popular or skilled teams, but they will nonetheless share the responsibility of kicking off the 2018 FIFA World Cup just like they share about a quarter of the world’s crude oil production. And it is a fitting fixture given how just this October King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made the first official trip to Russia (or the USSR) by a reigning Saudi monarch, to the Tsar Of All Rus president Vladimir Putin.

  • 14 June 2018
  • 18:00 MSK (UTC+3) Russia vs. Saudi Arabia
  • Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

So the last shall be first, and the first last, as the man said, and that will prove true when Russian and Arabia Saudi, the lowest-ranked teams in the entire competition meet mano-a-mano. Russia ranks No. 65 in the world while Saudi Arabia is an ever so slightly better No. 63. The Saudi Football Federation preparations are underway to make sure all national team players under recently appointed manager Juan Antonio Pizzi – who replaced Edgardo Bauza (who in turn replaced Bert Van Marwijk) are mentally ready for the tournament which starts in June 2018, and the transfers of Saudi players abroad on loan deals is still a very plausible scenario being proposed by the Saudi Federation.

The hosts have, all things considered, a pretty good World Cup betting chance of getting off on the right foot. Russia earned, as do tournament hosts, a top seed in Group A, and avoided a European opponent. With two teams from each group advancing to the round of 16, Russia is in a good position to make it through for the first time since 1986, when they were still the Soviet Union. Common wisdom has it that the hosting team must at the very least reach the knockout stage to spare themselves embarrassment, as well as Putin’s modern equivalent to a trip to Siberia. FIFA president Gianni Infantino  is betting the World Cup will be a smash, but as the New York Times points out, “official support for the World Cup is rooted in a desire to project national pride, and power, to the world. If that wanes, the electricity of the tournament might go with it.”

Only eight days after the World Cup opening game, OPEC and its allies led by Russia and including Saudi Arabia are to meet in Vienna to decide if they should to extend supply cuts. Crude oil futures jumped in New York and London on Friday after the two countries agreed on Thursday to prolong supply restrictions to shore up a glut. Hopefully, whatever the outcome of the match is, it won’t have a negative effect on the real world. Seriously, the last thing we need is another Football War. On other hand, if the allegations about how Russia got the gig in the first place are true, then the hosts should have clear path to the second round, World Cup betting odds be damned.