Our prediction for this match:
After sharing the spoils with Russia in October, Iran will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games when they take on Panama on a neutral location in Graz. The Team Melli impressed in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with the team finishing the process in top position in Group A, seven points clear of Korea Republic and it has to be noted that they managed to keep nine clean sheets in the process. Iran are likely to rely on their rock-solid defence in Thursday’s football match against Panama, but we predict that they will emerge triumphant in the upcoming friendly. Los Canaleros, on the other hand, booked their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals thanks to a controversial goal by Roman Torres in a 2-1 win over Costa Rica and they are now on a quest to prepare in the best possible way for the next year’s tournament. Anyhow, seeing that Iran are on top of their game at the moment, we are tempted to put our money on Carlos Queiroz’s charges.
Highlighted Player (Saman Ghoddos):
Saman Ghoddos is a product of FC Malmo football academy, but he started playing for IF Limhamn Bunkeflo at senior level. After scoring four goals in 41 appearances for the club the Swedish attacker moved to Treleborg, but he did not spend too much time at the club. In 2014 he signed a deal with Syrianska and he quickly established himself as a first-team regular at the Sodertalje Fotbollsarena outfit. Saman Ghoddos, who was born in Malmo on September 6, 1996 played for Syrianska from 2014 to 2016 and then he moved to Ostersunds. The Swedish striker, who is used as an attacking midfielder as well, scored ten goals in 27 appearances for Ostersunds in the 2016 Allsvenskan campaign and he impressed in the 2017/2018 Europa League qualifiers. Saman Ghoddos netted three goals in the process and helped the Swedish club book their place in the group stages of the European competition. Speaking of his personal life, you should bear in mind that Saman’s parents were born in Iran.
Highlighted Team (Panama):
Established in 1937, the Panama national team is a member of CONCACAF confederation which has seen their reputation grow significantly over the past decade. Los Canaleros finished as runners-up in the 2005 and 2013 Gold Cup respectively, while they also reached the fourth round for the 2006 and 2014 World Cup CONCACAF qualifications in that order. Panama were denied their place in the play-offs in 2014 in the last 90 seconds of the ultimate match with USA as they conceded two late goals in stoppage time as they crashed out of the qualification. Los Canaleros are heading into the Copa America Centenario as the winners of the qualifying play-offs and under the guidance of former Colombia and Ecuador head coach Henan Dario Gomez they will try to build on their most recent momentum. Midfielder Gabriel Gomez is the most capped player for Panama with his 125 appearances since 2003, while Luis Tejada is the team’s top scorer with 42 goals in 94 appearances so far.