England v Iran: Three Lions eye winning start
England v Iran betting tips, odds and preview
England get their World Cup campaign under way on the second day of the tournament with a tricky test against Iran in the first meeting between the two nations.
Gareth Southgate’s men are among the leading contenders in the outright World Cup betting but the Three Lions have not always got off to the best of starts at major tournaments.
Monday’s match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan kicks off at 1pm and is live on the BBC.
Patience key for England
The big challenge for England is to get back to their free-scoring ways after struggling to find the net during the Nations League.
The Three Lions only managed four goals in six matches as they were relegated from the top tier, having been blanked in all four matches against Hungary and Italy.
Most of those games were played at the end of a hectic domestic season though and there is a feeling that a winter World Cup may suit England, who at least signed off with a better attacking display in a 3-3 draw with Germany in September.
Locked in. 🔐
— England (@England) November 14, 2022
Scoring goals was not an issue in qualifying when England were Europe’s top guns with 39 goals in 10 matches and the squad does not look short of creativity.
Harry Kane is among the favourites for a second successive World Cup Golden Boot while the likes of Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and James Maddison have all been in fine form for their Premier League clubs.
England winning odds of 1/3 suggest victory should be a formality but they may need to be patient, just as they were against Tunisia four years ago.
Iran can put up stubborn defence
Iran have made five World Cup appearances but have never made it out of the group and are the outsiders in the World Cup Group B betting to do so this time.
Odds of 5/2 to qualify show they have a decent chance though and they will hope to catch England cold in their opening match before attention turns to Wales and the United States.
In their last World Cup outing in Russia four years ago they won one match, drew one and lost the other as they finished third in a group containing Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Drawing with Portugal showed they can mix it with the European heavyweights while they only lost 1-0 to Spain.
They qualified comfortably for Qatar 2022, topping their group with eight wins from 10 matches and just four goals conceded, with their only defeat coming after qualification was secured.
All we are doing,
Is give Dream a chance
As professional players representing the National Team of Iran , as Workers and Builders of Joy, Happiness and Pride, all we are doing is to commit to excellence playing for Iranian fans and supporters.
To the future! pic.twitter.com/x7uampDBX4
— Carlos Queiroz (@Carlos_Queiroz) November 14, 2022
Coached by former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz, in recent friendlies they have beaten Uruguay and Nicaragua 1-0 either side of a 1-1 draw with Senegal so they are unlikely to be blown away.
Any kind of win will do for England in their opening game and the lack of a friendly for the Three Lions in the build-up to the tournament could also mean a slow start.
Kane able to make a difference
Four years ago England needed an injury-time goal from Harry Kane to snatch victory over Tunisia, with the captain having also scored the opener in the 2-1 win.
That double set him on the road to the Golden Boot with six goals in the tournament and Kane will hope to lead by example once more.
He netted four more at Euro 2020 and with 14 goals for club and country already this season, the Tottenham striker will be full of confidence.
With England’s defence expected to keep Iran quiet, we like 8/5 for Kane to outscore the opposition as the last of our England v Iran predictions.
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All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication