Iran v Portugal

Iran v Portugal apreview 

It has been the Cristiano Ronaldo show for Portugal so far at the 2018 World Cup and he will be desperate to make the difference again on Monday against Iran.

The 33-year-old has scored all four of his country’s goals in Russia, netting a hat-trick against Spain, before heading the only goal against Morocco.

After beating the Moroccans in their Group B opener, Team Melli produced an encouraging performance in defeat to Spain and it is sure to be an intriguing encounter in Saransk.

Ronaldo to score first of last @ 1.74

After being injured in his country’s Euro 2016 final victory, Ronaldo looks even more motivated to help them succeed in Russia.

Four goals in two matches is a healthy return for a player who had previously managed just three other strikes in as many trips to the global showpiece.

Although it is probably academic to the two men involved, Ronaldo’s exploits have also overshadowed Lionel Messi, who has struggled to ignite his lacklustre Argentina side. Outshining him in Russia would only add to his claims he is the superior player.

Portugal to win to zero @ 4.05

Iran may have had a controversial goal ruled out against Spain but were fairly toothless in their opening win against Morocco, only to be handed a gift courtesy of Aziz Bouhaddouz’s own goal.

Despite conceding three times against Spain, Portugal’s calling card in recent years has been keeping things tight.

Fernando Santos is unlikely to allow his team to open up and the wily defensive pair of Pepe and Jose Fonte will again look to expertly control their back-line at the Mordovia Stadium, while behind them, goalkeeper Rui Patricio has again been excellent in the current tournament.

Portugal to be eliminated in the quarter-finals @ 3.50

A win on Monday guarantees Portugal qualification where they will face either Russia or Uruguay from Group A. Fernando Santos will fancy his team’s hopes of getting past either of these, but a potential meeting with Croatia in the quarter-finals could be an issue.

The Vatreni move the ball with both speed and quality and this could be the downfall of a Selecao side who at times against Spain, looked almost locked-in to their rigid formation.