Portugal ready for 'tough battle' with Iran

Croatia's Ivan Rakitic left scores his side's third goal during the group D match between Argentina and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod Russia

Portugal ready for 'tough battle' with Iran

That was little concern of the singing Iranians, however, all they cared about was that their plan was working.

As for Portugal, they just need one point to book their place in the round of sixteen.

Fernando Santos's side has till now appeared to be a one-man team with Ronaldo doing the most for his side on both occasions.

There will be two teams that fight a lot, that will give everything. The Real Madrid star came up with an important header early in the first half in what was otherwise a lacklustre performance against Morocco.

The throngs of noisy fans were allegedly there in a bid to ruin the Portuguese team's sleep ahead of tonight's do-or-die fixture that will either see Portugal qualify for the Round of 16, or go back to Portugal in dismay. If Portugal beats Iran, then Spain is through no matter what.

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Santos said he was not concerned by Queiroz's knowledge of Ronaldo and believed the team functioned as a whole unit.

"This is natural…You start gaining confidence naturally", he added.

Whatever happens in Spain's final group match against Morocco, the Iranians know that a win over Portugal will see them into the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Iran has won only one match in the World Cup (against Morocco) and would try their best to score in the next match. Spain will advance with at least a draw against Morocco, and could potentially advance with a loss.

It promises to an Interesting contest as Iran look to book their place in the round of sixteen for the first time in their history take on Portugal in Saransk.

Video from the late-night rally shows Cristiano coming to the window of his hotel room and pleading with the Iranian supporters to quiet down so he can get some much needed rest. It will be based around respect, realism and romanticism because we have based our game around those fundamentals.

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He said: "It's a great honour to be here knowing that on Monday we are still fighting for our dream".

Current Iran national coach Carlos Queiroz had two spells managing Portugal during 1991-1993 and 2008-2010.

"But on Monday Iran are going to play against Portugal, not against Cristiano".

Portugal and Spain have tied on points and goal difference after winning two games. Ronaldo's goal against Morocco made him Europe's all-time leading scorer in worldwide matches. SI also analyzed FIFA's tiebreaker rules and scenarios for every other group. The AFC giants have performed significantly better as the tournament has progressed and head coach Carlos Queiroz will be hoping his side can continue their good form in their final group on Monday.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored all of Portugal's goals in this tournament including a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw against Spain.

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