Yahoo DFS Soccer: Single-Game Preview for Iran vs. USA
Tuesday's match is a do-or-die for both teams with the USA needing all three points against Iran, while a draw would be enough to see the Iranians through to the knockout stage. It's possible Iran come out extremely defensively and play for that draw right from the opening kick, which could change the flow of the game and pump up the US players who will be desperate to get forward. The US are favorites in the match though albeit with a win percentage still below 50.
CASH GAME STRATEGY
Cash games almost have to start with Christian Pulisic ($28). Even with a lofty price tag, he will have a role on every United States set-piece in a match where Iran will likely be happy to give team USA plenty of the ball and sit deep to defend. Ehsan Hajsafi ($15) has had the majority of sets for Iran, but it's uncertain how much he will see off the ball. Jesus Ferreira ($16) and Haji Wright ($18) have the best goal-scoring odds on the slate, though there's a reasonable chance neither starts for Team USA. If either of those two leads the line for the Americans they would be viable GPP plays but probably not in cash.
Mehdi Taremi ($30) is the only max-price player on the slate but with +300 goal-scoring odds, it's hard to take the plunge on him, especially with just one total set-piece across each of the opening two matches. That said, Taremi will pile the shots on if he's given the chance to get forward, perhaps by an early American goal. Sardar Azmoun ($23) has the same goal-scoring odds and comes at a major discount compared to Taremi, making him my preferred target for Iranian goals. Alireza Beiranvand ($15) or Hossein Hosseini ($18) would both be interesting plays depending on who starts. With the United States chasing a win it's possible they pile the shots on goal from distance, especially if they get desperate in the closing stages of the match. Matt Turner ($19) is a similarly interesting play for the Superstar position, though he only has 37 percent clean sheet odds.
Sergino Dest ($14) is an interesting play towards the lower end of prices as the United States full-backs will certainly be asked to get forward and comes in cheaper than his opposite number Antonee Robinson ($18). A 0-0 draw would suit Iran perfectly and targeting that with the Iranian keeper in the superstar slot and Turner elsewhere in the lineup could prove worthwhile in this match. A high-scoring affair isn't overly likely here even if an early goal flies in. As such, I prefer to pay down at defender and try to target those set-pieces takers in midfield, like the aforementioned Pulisic who is nearly a cash game lock. The United States center-backs, Walker Zimmerman ($16) and Tim Ream ($15) are perhaps a bit too high priced but have the chance to stack up clearances as they try and funnel the ball back to their attack as soon as possible
For tournaments, the United States players will be very popular - both due to being American and favorites in a match that will be one of the most viewed in Team USA history. I think I'm going to be avoiding Americans for the most part, maybe taking Antonee Robinson ($18) as an option in defense alongside Sargent for a stack targeting an early USA goal. If that early US goal comes through, suddenly Iran will be forced to attack and get forward, opening up options such as Ali Gholizadeh ($18) as a possible target alongside Azmoun. Milad Mohammadi ($13) is a full-back with a price near the bottom of the slate, making him immediately appealing in an Iranian stack.
If you want to back the Red, White, and Blue though there are certainly some interesting options available. Timothy Weah ($25) sits near the top of the slate in price but has also scored the only goal for the US in the opening two matches. Weston McKennie ($22) has seen his price tumble after starting the World Cup as the most expensive player for the US, though his poor form could keep his utilization low at this price. Two intriguing players that haven't gotten the chance to play much for team USA, Giovanni Reyna ($20) and Brenden Aaronson ($18), both have been left on the bench in the opening two matches but have been the best players on the pitch after coming on. If either were to get the start they would be appealing DFS options while also potentially hampering Pulisic as they could eat into his set-piece monopoly. Team USA need all three points and going out while leaving two of their most creative players on the bench would be hard to swallow.