Zob Ahan vs Esteghlal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 8 May 2018
Kick-off: 16:45 CET
Zob Ahan have every reason to feel proud of themselves. They started April with a home defeat to Al Duhail (a match in which a draw was the absolute least they deserved), they had to deliver on two fronts, AFC CL and their championship, and they did, they won three games, including one over champions Persepolis, they drew twice, they qualified for the last 16 of the AFC Champions League, and finished second in Iran’s championship. They’ll need to play qualifiers to reach the group stage of the AFC CL next season, but still, they should be feeling very-very well for how they coped with many big games last month. Their most recent game was more than 10 days ago, a 1-0 win at Naft Tehran, the result that kept them second in the table of Iran’s championship.
Esteghlal finished third in Iran’s championship, a point below Zob Ahan and level on points with Saipa, but they have already secured a ticket to next season’s AFC Champions League group stage, being the winners of the Hazfi Cup in Iran. The final was last Thursday, Esteghlal beat Khouneh Be Khouneh Babol 1-0, their seventh win in their last eight matches(!). They have a draw as well. As for defeats, last time they lost a game was on February 4, and the very interesting detail is that it was at Zob Ahan, 2-1, in a championship match. That’s their only defeat in 21 official matches in 2018(!).
Previous five matches:
Naft Tehran vs Zob Ahan 0-1
Zob Ahan vs Persepolis 2-1
Lokomotiv Tashkent vs Zob Ahan 1-1
Foolad vs Zob Ahan 1-1
Zob Ahan vs Sepidrood Rasht 3-0
Esteghlal vs Khouneh Be Khouneh Babol 1-0
Sepahan vs Esteghlal 0-1
Esteghlal vs Paykan 3-2
Al Hilal vs Esteghlal 0-1
Gostaresh Foolad Tabriz vs Esteghlal 1-1
Both teams’ next game is the return leg of this tie, next week.
Zob Ahan vs Esteghlal: Head to head Stats
Three wins for Zob Ahan, one for Esteghlal, and a draw, in the last five games between these two with Zob Ahan as hosts. Three of those five matches stayed under 2.5 goals.
Zob Ahan vs Esteghlal: Prediction
Zob Ahan are the only team that have beaten Esteghlal in 2018, but I really doubt they will repeat that in this match. I’m backing the visitors to get at least a draw.
Zob Ahan vs Esteghlal: Betting Tips
Esteghlal’s double chance is at 1.50 betting odds. Draw alone, at 3.10, feels more probable to me, than an Esteghlal victory.
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