Friday, August 17, 2018

Prediction: Turkey vs Iran

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions 28 May 2018

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Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 29/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Iran are preparing their World Cup participation, and Turkey are beginning a rebuilding process after missing out on a WC berth on their own. With different objectives going forward, these two sides will meet this Monday at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkey

It would be fair to say that Turkey’s World Cup qualifying campaign was a disappointment, as they had a talented-enough squad to earn a Top 2 finish, but they fell behind the likes of Iceland and Croatia so they have been eliminated as a result. With that in mind – and also forced due to injuries, as detailed below – it would be fair to call the squad for this game as an experimental one, where names such as Hakan Calhanoglu, Omer Toprak and others won’t be available for selection here. However, and despite the bad results of late, Turkey must flip the script rather quickly. With the European League of Nations and the European Championship Qualifiers on the horizon, Turkey do not have enough time to cry over what happened. And getting a positive result against a World Cup-bound team like Iran should, at least, boost their morale going forward.

Team News

Turkey will have a fair share of absentees ahead of this game. For starters, Hakan Calhanoglu, Gokhan Gonul, Omer Toprak and Volkan Babacan are all out through injury. All four players would probably start if deemed fit.

To make things even more complicated, other noteworthy elements have been left out of the squad. The list includes Arda Turan (out of favour with the coaching staff), Burak Yilmaz and Caner Erkin (both due to injury).

Iran

Iran, on the other hand, are in full swing of their preparations ahead of the 2018 World Cup participation where they got squared in Group B, alongside Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Not the easiest group by any means, but the Asian side is quite confident on making a good participation in a complicated zone where no one expects them to advance into the next round. With that in mind, Iran will participate on two friendly matches – against Turkey and Lithuania – looking to tune up as many things as possible before their World Cup debut. One could think their squad does not have a lot of talent, but there are several interesting players worth watching here. Names such as Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Sardar Azmoun and Ashkan Dejagah will be key for the Asian side on their second consecutive World Cup presence. Will they be able to deliver a strong performance against the Turkish side?

Team News

Iran are at full strength ahead of this game. The coaching staff have already its full 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup Squad.

Perhaps the lone noteworthy absentee will be Jalal Hosseini. The centre-back missed the final squad for the World Cup roster.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Ramadan could be a factor here. Iran players have said they know how to manage it, but it is still something worth noting.
  • Iran have won two of their last three friendly matches. They defeated Algeria and Uzbekistan, but lost to Tunisia.
  • On the other hand, Turkey have been a mixed bag of results of late. They defeated Ireland, drew to Montenegro, and lost to Albania. Certainly not ideal for a side that has been underperforming over the past few years.
  • This will Iran’s first of two friendly matches. They will take on Lithuania before their World Cup debut against Morocco on June 15th.
  • Turkey, on the other hand, have a packed schedule going forward. They also have scheduled games against Tunisia and Russia before the start of the 2018 World Cup.

Conclusion

Turkey are beginning a rebuilding process amidst several injuries and absences, while Iran are likely to feature a similar tactic to the one they will want to use in their World Cup opener against Morocco.

Expect both sides to showcase a positive attitude here, and I believe we could see at least three goals scored in total.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 29/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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