Iran vs Uzbekistan
Competition: International friendly
Date: 19 May 2018
Kick-off: 18:15 CET
These last days, with national team coaches announcing the names of the players who will make the trip to Russia for the World Cup finals, most of the news had to do with those injured, or unavailable/snubbed due to all sorts of other reasons. In Iran, and in six more countries, where the vast population of the citizens (and football players) are Muslim, another question has been raised; fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. It has already started, and will still be running even when the teams arrive in Russia for the last days’ preparations before the finals start. Iranians are used to fasting, but especially those last days in Russia, things will be totally new to them, with the sun rising way earlier than what they are used to, and disappearing way later than what they are used to (Muslims are not supposed to eat or drink anything during daytime, as long as their holy month lasts). Fasting-aside, Iranians look super confident that they have what it takes to finish in their group’s top 2. They are in the same group with Morocco, Spain and Portugal. Their last – friendly – game was in March, a 2-1 win over Algeria.
Uzbekistan will not be in the World Cup finals, but they will be in the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE in January 2018, a competition for which they have pretty much already started preparing for. Their last friendly test was about two months ago, a 2-0 defeat to Morocco. Their championship is in full swing, which may help them in this game, as their players come from regular football for weeks now. It’s worth mentioning that Uzbekistan haven’t won any of their last five games, and have won just one of their last seven. Last time they visited Iran was in June 2017, in the World Cup qualifiers, a game they lost 2-0.
Previous five matches:
Iran vs Algeria 2-1
Tunisia vs Iran 1-0
Iran vs Sierra Leone 4-0
Venezuela vs Iran 0-1
Iran vs Panama 2-1
Morocco vs Uzbekistan 2-0
Senegal vs Uzbekistan 1-1
UAE vs Uzbekistan 1-0
Uzbekistan vs South Korea 0-0
China vs Uzbekistan 1-0
Iran’s next game is a friendly one against Turkey on May 28. Uzbekistan’s next scheduled match is also a friendly one, against Uruguay, on June 7.
Iran vs Uzbekistan: Head to head Stats
Iran and Uzbekistan have played against each other eight times in the past. Iran have won six of those games, one has ended in a draw, and Uzbekistan managed to celebrate one victory, in Tehran(!), 0-1, in the World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
Iran vs Uzbekistan: Prediction
I’ll be very surprised if Iran don’t win this game.
Iran vs Uzbekistan: Betting Tips
A simple Iran win pays 1.33. For much more than that, I would combine their victory with a clean sheet, Uzbekistan have scored just one goal in their last five games, friendly ones and WC qualifiers combined.