England are one the favorites to win the tournament in Qatar, and they kick off their campaign against a country that’s won just twice in 15 previous World Cup matches. The Three Lions are the only European team to reach the semi-finals in each of the last two major tournaments.
However, England are winless in their last six games, scoring just four goals during that span.
This will be Iran’s sixth World Cup, and they’ve never qualified from the group stage. They're ranked 20th in the world and are coached by Alex Ferguson’s former assistant at Manchester United, Carlos Queiroz.
Iran are unbeaten in three, including a 1-0 win over Uruguay in September.
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England vs. Iran Game Info
Date: Monday, Nov. 21,
8 a.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1, Telemundo
Location: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Weather: 81 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation, 15-mph winds
England vs. Iran Picks
- Spread: England -1 (+115 via PointsBet) ★★★★
- Over/Under: Under 2.5 (-150 via Caesars) ★★★★
- Prop pick: Harry Kane to score 2+ goals (+500 via FanDuel) ★★★
England vs. Iran ATS Pick
England -1 (+115) ★★★★
Most sportsbooks have the handicap at 1.5. PointsBet is offering the best line with England as one-goal favorites. At +115, they also have the best odds against the spread.
Gareth Southgate has guided England to the semifinals in each of his two tournaments as national team head coach. Harry Kane has scored a total of 10 goals in England’s last two international tournaments, including six at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, during which he finished as the tournament’s top scorer.
The Three Lions set the best goal difference in the group stage of European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring 39 goals and conceding only three (plus-36).
Iran have scored just nine goals in 15 FIFA World Cup matches; at 0.6, that’s the fewest goals per game of any nation to play more than 10 games in the competition. They’ve netted more than once in only one of their 15 games, a 2-1 win over USA in 1998.
England and Iran have never played each other before, and the latter has never beaten European opposition at the FIFA World Cup, (two draws and six losses).
England vs. Iran O/U Pick
Under 2.5 (-150) ★★★★
The total is 2.5 at most books. The best odds for the Under are available at Caesars.
Since 1998, when the competition increased to 32 teams, the tournament is averaging 2.5 goals per game. This Group B opener is at 4 p.m. local time in the desert heat at 81 degrees. Don’t expect a high-tempo performance from either side.
Iran will look to frustrate England by sticking men behind the ball. The Three Lions will have a lot of possession and will have to work hard to pick their disciplined opponents apart. Twelve of England’s last 18 goals at the World Cup have been scored from set pieces. Three-quarters of their goals in Russia came from dead-ball situations.
Although England scored three in their last outing against Germany, they found the net just once in their previous five games. Iran haven’t scored multiple goals in a match in any of their last four outings.
England vs. Iran Prop Pick
Kane to score 2-plus goals (+500 via FanDuel) ★★★
No player scored more goals in European qualifying than Kane (12). The England captain was the top scorer in the 2018 World Cup, with five of his six goals coming in the group stages. He’s scored only three goals in eight games for England this year, but he ended World Cup qualifying with seven in England’s last two matches. He’s the team’s penalty taker and enters the tournament in good form, scoring 12 goals for Tottenham in the Premier League this season; only Erling Haaland has more (16).
Although the game will be slow, England will have the bulk of the possession and will create chances for their talisman to put away. He gets his campaign off with multiple goals against an inferior opponent. He needs three goals to pass Wayne Rooney (53) as England's all-time leading scorer.
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England-Iran picks made 11/19/2022 at 5:19 p.m. ET