Spain dominated much of their opener but a goalkeeping howler and a magical Ronaldo free-kick meant they had to settle for a point, which leaves them two points behind their opponents here. However, Iran were incredibly lucky to beat Morocco as they were second-best in a poor-quality affair before getting a lucky own goal in the 95th minute.
Spain have won all 10 of their meetings with Asian teams since 2005 while they’ve won 18 of their last 19 competitive matches against sides we had ranked outside the world’s top 20. 16 of those 18 wins came to nil and with the Iranians likely to offer very little in the way of attacking ambition that looks the best way to back the Europeans to win.
Iran build their approach around looking to protect their clean sheet, but Spain have an array of attacking options, with Diego Costa offering a direct alternative to go alongside the defence-splitting and dribbling ability of David Silva, Andres Iniesta and Isco. The ex-Chelsea striker was particularly impressive against Portugal as he grabbed a brace and that’s eight goals in his last eight international starts.
Carlos Queiroz’s defensive tactics – which have led to Iran keeping clean sheets in 13 of their last 14 competitive matches – should mean Spain don’t run riot. However, Spain have won to nil in seven of their last eight competitive matches against teams we ranked 21-50 and three of those were 3-0 scores, which looks a decent value long-shot.