Spain Face Buoyant Iran

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Iran will face competition's favorite Spain on Wednesday at the Kazan Arena, relying on their rock solid defense against the team which remain one of the most attack-minded in the World Cup.

Spain came into the event as one of the big favourites, having dominated in major football tournaments between 2008 and 2012. Labelled the "Iranian Messi" Azmoun will be facing Spain in the familiar surroundings of the Kazan Arena. What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, can create super stories and super things.

"If there was a magic potion to stop the Spanish team, then $1 million would not be too much to buy it, even though we do have some financial troubles", said Queiroz, who was flanked by AEK Athens midfielder Masoud Shojaei.

Also Mohammad-Reza Khanzadeh, who like Cheshmi has gotten a lot of minutes in Iran's friendly matches since qualifying last spring, would be an option.

"If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final", said the former Real Madrid coach.

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After the opener in Brazil had been a similarily unattractive event, a boring goalless draw against Nigeria, Team Melli's display versus the South American giants had differed a lot, with Iran creating much more chances than anyone would have expected. "Defensively we have a good team regardless of who plays". Morocco are on the verge of exiting the 2018 World Cup - the first time they are making an appearance since 1998 - unless they can stave off defeat against the European champions.

The Manchester United goalkeeper made an error against Portugal to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to score his second goal in a 3-3 draw on Friday.

In their 1-0 victory over Morocco, Iran became the first team since 1966 to score a goal without attempting a shot during a half of World Cup football - their victor was a 90th minute own goal by Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz.

Iran could become the first Asian team to win consecutive World Cup matches since South Korea in June 2002. The striker has seen himself being painted as the villain in the last two editions of the World Cup.

A win against Iran will leave Spain on the brink of a place in the last 16, despite all the upheaval of the past week. "As Iran beat Morocco, this group is guaranteed to go down to the final two matches next Monday".

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