England are one of the favourites to go all the way and win the 2022 World Cup and following the success of their Euro 2020 campaign, the pressure is on Southgate to finally end the nation's 54-year-long wait for a major international trophy. Iran make their sixth appearance at the World Cup and will be hoping to make it out of the group stage for the first time in their history.
England to Win-to-Nil
England are big favourites to beat Iran in the opening game of Group B and we're backing Southgate's men to keep a clean sheet in the process. England performed really well at Euro 2020 and a lot is expected of them in Qatar, providing they can adapt to the intense heat. On paper, England should dominate this game but we have seen big teams struggle in the early stages of the World Cup before. However, the English have a strong defence that kept five clean sheets in Euro 2020 and they go up against an Iran side that only have a handful of players that ply their trade in the top five European leagues.
There will be plenty of Pressure on England's captain, Harry Kane, to score the goals required to take his country through to the latter stages of the World Cup and we're backing the prolific goalscorer to find the back of the net first against Iran on Monday. As things stand, Kane has scored a whopping 50-goals in 73-caps for England, four of which he scored at Euro 2020. The Iranian defence are going to find it tough stopping one of Europe's top strikers from open play and they can't afford to give away a spot-kick as Kane is a master from 12-yards out.
England vs Iran: Stats, Markets & Odds
As we can see, the bookies see England as clear favourites to win their first game at the World Cup in Qatar. The odds on multiple sites are pretty much like these on average:
England odds: 1/3 (1.33)
Draw odds: 10/3 (4.33)
Iran odds: 11/1 (12.00)
If we transform these odds into probability it means that England has a 75% probability of winning the match. That is understandable given that England is seen by many as one of the favourites to go all the way, while Iran is one of the outsiders even when it comes to getting out of group stages.
When it comes to goals, the bookies don't expect to see many goals. After all, the odds on under 2.5 total goals are 4/6 (1.67), while the odds on over 2.5 total goals are 13/10 (2.30). Also, the bookmakers don't see both teams scoring in this match, with the odds for this market set at 4/9 (1.44).
If you're looking for a bet with higher odds, you may want to try correct score betting market. The most likely scores, at least according to the odds, are 1-0, 2-0, and 3-0 to England.
Southgate has chosen a familiar squad for the World Cup to the one that performed so well at Euro 2020 but in some cases it appears as if the England manager has chosen reputation over form and fitness. Players missing out on the trip to Qatar include Dean Henderson, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Tyrone Mings, James Ward-Prowse, Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham, Jarod Bowen and Ivan Toney. James Maddison did make the cut thanks to his excellent form this season and the same goes for Callum Wilson. However, the inclusion of Conor Gallagher, Kalvin Phillips and even Jordan Henderson has raised a few eyebrows as the two of the trio have struggled with injuries this season while Gallagher is yet to produce the kind of form that brought him to everyone's attention last season on-loan at Crystal Palace.
Iran have gone with the majority of the squad that everyone expected them to, although, Omid Ebrahimi misses out due to injury. All bar three of the squad chosen to make the trip to Qatar have at least double figures in caps for their country, and two of those without are backup goalkeepers. The only centurian in the squad is captain Ehsan Hajsafi who has 121-caps and 7-goals for Iran and will lead the defence. Porto's Mehdi Taremi is the player England really have to watch out for as he is a natural goalscorer that can create chances out of nothing.