Bosnia v Iran – Dead Rubber Goal FestStats
Bosnia v Iran
Bosnia face Iran with the European side now only playing for pride after successive defeats resulted in a swift exit for them in their first ever World Cup appearance.
The Bosnians can consider themselves very unlucky to be pointless after two games as neither of their losses were particularly deserved and they have proved to be a very capable side ,albeit one which has got few breaks in the competition. They were 1-0 down to a highly-fancied Argentina team within three minutes of their World Cup bow but more than held there own from that point until Lionel Messi struck a fine goal in the 65th minute. Vedad Ibisevic then came off the bench to give them hope five minutes form time but they couldn’t get a second. They then lost a controversial game against Nigeria which saw them eliminated, as Edin Dzeko had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside before Peter Odemwingie put the Super Eagles ahead with a close range finish but it looked like there had been a Bosnian player fouled in the build-up. Bosnia then spurned a host of chances in the second half including when Dzeko struck the post with almost the last kick of the game.
Messi made his mark again when he spoiled Iran’s party with a magnificent winner in stoppage time
last Saturday after the Iranians had stifled their opponents and come very close to one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history on a couple of occasions only to be denied by fine saves by Sergio Romero late in the second half. That 1-0 loss came on the back of a drab scoreless draw against Nigeria in their opening game and should they be able to find their scoring touch for their final group outing then they have every chance of making a shock appearance in the knockout phase.
Bosnian boss Safat Susic may opt to return to the attacking formation which he discarded in the build-up to this tournament and play Ibisevic from the start here alongside Dzeko meaning a likely spot on the bench for one of the midfield five which have started their previous games. Saed Kolasinac may also return to the starting XI after he was dropped for their second group game.
Former Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz seems likely to stick with the same XI that performed so admirably in defeat to the Argentines, although with a win required to have any chance of qualification he could opt to bring in more firepower or at least adopt a more attacking formation.
Head To Head
Iran boast a terrific record in this fixture having never lost and won each of the last four meetings, the most recent of which came back in 2009 when they defeated Bosnia 3-2. The Iranians have also scored a whooping 16 goals in the five games played between the teams claiming 5-2 and 4-0 victories along the way.
It seems wrong that a poor Nigerian team are ahead of both of these gutsy performers in the table but that’s the perils of tournament football and fairness has little part to play. Iran will have to sacrifice their defensive solidity to have any chance of reaching the last 16 though while the Bosnians have little to lose and will be eager to prove they were worthy of better so I think the pick of the bets here is Over 2.5 goals to go in at 11/10.
Dzeko and Ashkan Dejegah are the standout punts for me in the goalscorers market at odds of evens and 9/4 respectively while the 7/5 draw no bet on Iran looks to be of some value too.