World Cup previews: Morocco v Iran

Following on from yesterday’s hurried post, here’s what the Football Manager 2018 data has to say about the line-ups for Morocco v Iran today. The explanation for this is in the link above, but in a nutshell I’ve treated the Football Manager database like a scouting tool and scored the two teams by combining their in-game attributes.


Here’s how the two teams stack up in terms of overall ability, according to Football Manager’s researchers.

Morocco look to have the edge here overall, with their right side looking strongest, while Iran’s defence in particular looks a bit light – their best chance of a goal may come from Jahanbakhsh on the right.


This is another measure that I intend to get a lot of use out of because it’s not something there’s a lot of public data for. Here I’ve combined (and weighted) the in-game attributes for pace and acceleration and mixed in some stuff on fitness and agility for good measure:

Morocco again look better equipped with their mobile full backs likely to give them an advantage if they can get them forward.

Aerial threat

Here’s how the two sides measure up in the air:

Morocco look second best going forward, with the 5’6″ Boussoufa not likely to be much use in particular, however their centre backs should surely be watched at set pieces.


I’ve rolled together the mental attributes to look at which players might be likelier to thrive or buckle under pressure:

El Ahmadi and the centre backs behind him could be key to marshalling the Morocco team, and may be able to drive them forward, while a few players seem as though the occasion might get to them – Amiri and El Kaabi in particular.


Let’s have a quick look at where the spark might come from for either side:

The Moroccan midfield looks pretty well-stocked in creative terms, with all of the players behind the striker looking capable of carving out opportunities. For Iran it looks like a lot may go through Shojaei in central midfield.