Two of the outsiders of Group B, Morocco and Iran are destined to meet each other at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium in Saint-Petersburg, looking for a victory that could give them some slight hopes of reaching the knockout stage next to the likes of Spain and Portugal. The first African side to win the group at the World Cup had qualified for the final tournament after finishing top of the group without conceding a goal. The Atlas Lions are undefeated in 2018, having won nine out of ten games they’ve played this year, including two impressive victories against Serbia and Ukraine. On the other hand, Iran will be making their second consecutive World Cup appearance, which will be the fifth in their history. As one of the most successful Asian teams that had won three Asian Cup championships, the Team Melli progressed to the final tournament from the first spot of their respective qualifying group without a single loss. Although Iran won four out of six matches they’ve played this year, all of those games came against low-quality opponents, which might be tricky considering they are going to face the current European and the former World champions during the opening stage of the competition.
Carlos Queiroz has a couple of quality forwards at his disposal, including the Eredivisie-based stars, Alireza Jahanbakhsh from AZ Alkmaar, and Reza Ghoochannejhad who currently plays for Heerenveen, while Mehdi Benatia, Nabil Dirar, Achraf Hakimi, Mbark Boussoufa, Mehdi Carcela, and team’s biggest star, Hakim Ziyech, are the players that should represent the best of Morocco.
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