Iran vs USA World Cup 2022 Matchup Preview, Betting Picks, Predictions: USMNT In Must-Win Game

Gregg BerhalterUSMNT look to keep their knockout hopes alive at the 2022 soccer World Cup, but to do that they’ll have to beat an Iran team that currently sits one point above them in Group B (2pm ET Tuesday). What will happen at Al Thumama Stadium in the Qatari capital of Doha? Can Team USA overcome a fairly in-form team?

The story so far

U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter probably has mixed feelings going into this third group game. On the one hand, he will undoubtedly be pleased that his team have avoided defeat so far, especially since they faced an England side that scored six goals on match-day one. He will be especially pleased with the level of control that his men exerted over the English.

However, the man tasked with getting the USA into the knockouts, must be disappointed that they come into this game needing a win, and as such will surely look back and pinpoint that game against Wales as a missed opportunity. The US were on the front foot in that game, they were totally dominant during the first half and really ought to have stepped on the game and finished off the job. Unfortunately, they paid the price for not doing so. They now find themselves needing three points from the final game to avoid an early flight home.

In contrast, despite losing heavily to the English in game one, the Iranians come into this final game in a strong position. They are second in the group and know that a point is all they need to make it through.

In truth, we probably should not read too much into that first game against England. Yes, they were too open at the back, and yes, they made mistakes, but that should not influence this game too much. After all, last time out, the Iranians did what the USMNT couldn’t and that’s beat Wales. It did take them until deep into stoppage time to make the breakthrough, but throughout the game, Iran played with a tenacity and an intention that was very positive. As a result, they cannot be expected to roll over for the Team USA here.

Extra offensive quality

On paper, the U.S. have plenty of final-third quality, but they have not really shown that in the middle east. Sure, they scored a nicely crafted goal against the Welsh on match-day one, but that remains their only real piece of end-product. Disappointing considering the tournament is now on match-day three and that came 36 minutes into the first game.

Unlike Berhalter’s men, the team managed by Carlos Queiroz have now scored four goals in Qatar, notching two in each of their matches. They showed good spirit to fashion some chances when heavily down against England. They never gave up against Wales either, showing quality in the final third, in terms of both creativity and end-product, right until the death. That should hold them in good stead here.

A lack of goals from a US perspective is not a new thing either. Ahead of this soccer World Cup, they had gone two games without scoring, while they also went three games without scoring more than once. Somewhat disappointingly, they have either failed to score or scored just once in all but one of their last seven.

Iranians appeal in the betting

The early market certainly fancies USMNT to get the job done here, but that’s probably out of necessity rather than quality. They are the ones who must push for the win, but the question is have they got enough about them, especially in the final third, to get the result that they so desperately require? On recent evidence, it is hard to say yes to that question.

In contrast, the Iranians have shown enough to suggest that they can put the ball in the net, and if they can be patient enough, then opportunities are likely to be there, especially on the break.

Moreover, this is an Iran team that does not lose often. Prior to their England defeat, they had only lost three times since the start of 2021. More importantly, this U.S. team fails to win far more often than the Iranians taste defeat. Berhalter’s men are now without a win in five matches, and it is not as if they have faced the toughest opposition during that time, tying with both El Salvador and Saudi Arabia.

All in all, Queiroz’s men, who so far have been better than Team USA in terms of both creativity and scoring goals, look to be overpriced in the betting lines and thus a bet on ‘Iran Draw No Bet’ offers bettors some value.

So for the Iran vs USA betting predictions and picks for this preview, this is the sole selection against the best sportsbooks for World Cup betting action: