Three points is the target for La Roja
Kick off 19:00
Iran 22/1 – Betfair
Spain 1/5 – Sky Bet
Draw 6/1 – Bet 365
Spain head into their Group B game against Iran knowing that nothing but a win will be acceptable. Iran are the surprise leaders of Group B – they will be tested in the Kazan Arena by a richly talented Spanish side. Fernando Hierro‘s side shouldn’t underestimate this game. This World Cup is proof that some of the ‘big guns’ have struggled to live up to the ‘favourites’ tag against the modest teams. This is the first fixture between the two sides.
If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final. Carlos Queiroz, Iran head coach via BBC
David De Gea will be keen to prove that he’s still the safest pair of hands in the Spanish camp. De Gea was at fault for Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal during the 3-3 draw in Sochi.
For making a small mistake, he shouldn’t be put in the eye of the storm. Cristiano has a stinging shot – he strikes the ball very cleanly – especially with his left foot. It was a quick move and maybe the ball suddenly changed direction. Iker Casillas, as.com
He (De Gea) is very calm and has all our confidence, and we will be fair to him. Fernando Hierro, marca.com
Spain’s midfield dominated against Portugal as expected. Iran’s midfield will have to work super hard against the likes of Andrés Iniesta and Isco who will both look to stamp their authority from the kickoff. Creating chances won’t be a problem, nor should converting them be a problem against a modest Iranian defence. Diego Costa will look to add to his brace against Portugal. The Atlético Madrid forward scored a cracking goal in Sochi, he looks fired-up for Spain’s World Cup challenge. Hierro will have Dani Carvajal available for selection, however, Nacho will feel that his contribution against Portugal deserves another place in the starting XI.
Iran would love nothing more than to cause one of the upsets of this year’s World Cup. Aziz Bouhaddouz was the hero against Morocco, can he add to his goal tally? Spain will be looking to live up to their ‘heavyweight’ reputation. Goal difference will play its part in deciding who will top Group B. La Roja are odds-on favourites and an upset is not expected, Iran though will have other ideas.
•Odds correct at the time of writing