Anytime Goalscorer: Diego Costa – 5/6
Diego Costa barrelled over Pepe in Spain’s opening game, reminding us all why, even if we couldn’t stomach his gnarled face in Chelsea blue when he was trolling defences and smashing in goals, we all secretly love having a player like that leading our own team from the front.
The Spanish needed his bruising, brawny bravado against their Iberian rivals having conceded an early penalty to Ronaldo. The great man went on to complete one of the most memorable hat-tricks since the guy who first pulled a rabbit from a bowler.
What was clear from that game is that Spain are up for this competition despite the turmoil pre-tournament. One reason they’ve a great chance of winning a second World Cup is because of the Atletico Madrid centre-forward’s presence in the squad.
He looked as nasty as ever against Portugal, so he can definitely rough up the Iranian defence here. Spain should win this, and Costa is their main goal threat. 5/6 in the Anytime Goalscorer market reflects that.
Corner Handicap: Spain -5 – 6/5
Iran won their first game, against Morocco, with a late own goal. Carlos Quieroz, their coach, is credited with tightening up Man United’s defence as assistant to Alex Ferguson, helping them win a Champions League and several league titles, and his Iranian team reflect his defensive outlook.
It worked in their first game but it would be stunning if it was similarly effective here. Spain need to win this after their opening draw, and should cover the Persian defence like a rug.
They ought to dominate the corner totals here as Iran sit back, so -5 should be handily covered, especially as their opponents don’t need to press too much here having picked up a crucial three points in their opener.
To be Booked: Sardar Azmoun – 6/4
The ‘Iranian Messi’ – Leo should be charging regional royalties there are so many versions of him dotted around the globe – endured a frustrating afternoon in Saint Petersburg, but managed to keep his 23-year-old temper in check.
However, he was booked three times in their qualifying campaign and, with an evening of thankless toil likely against Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique – two defenders who know how to wheedle away at an irritable front man – petulance could produce the perfect result here.
Combining these three bets into a Same Game Multi punt would offer a return of over 14/1 at current prices. The return on that should secure a piece of floor tapestry that’ll tie any room together.
*All odds correct at time of posting