The final Round of 16 tie of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup takes place at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Wednesday (KO, 16:00), as Group C winners Iran take on one of the competition's best third-placed teams, Syria.
The Eagles of Qasioun finished behind Australia and Uzbekistan in Group B after losing to the former (0-1) and drawing with the latter (0-0), before securing their place in the knockouts with a 1-0 win over India.
Iran, meanwhile, eased into the Round of 16 with a 100% record, beating Palestine (4-1), Hong Kong (1-0) and the United Arab Emirates (2-1).
The winner of Wednesday's tie will advance into the quarter-finals at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, where they will face either Bahrain or Japan.
Sadegh Mohrrami has played his final game of the 2023 Asian Cup after rupturing his ACL against the UAE, so Ramin Rezaeian - who came on for him in that game - is in line to start for Iran on Wednesday.
Roma forward Sardar Azmoun played his first minutes of the tournament in that match, setting up both of Mehdi Taremi's goals, and will hope to have done enough to earn back-to-back starts.
Syria don't appear to have any injury issues, but Omar Maher Khribin will be pushing for a first start after coming off the bench to net the winner against India.
Iran are 2/7 to win the match inside 90 minutes on Wednesday, with a victory for Syria priced at 8/1 and the draw - which would send the tie to extra-time - at 18/5.
Both teams to score is 11/8 and it's 10/11 for over 2.5 goals.
Iran to win to nil @ 5/6
Iran have played Syria four times since 2019, winning all four games and scoring 12 goals in the process. They haven't even conceded a goal to them since 2017, when the pair drew 2-2 in Tehran.
Team Melli have only kept one clean sheet in Qatar, but Palestine's goal against them came at the end of a first-half in which they had already scored three, while the UAE's strike also arrived in added time, but in the second-half as the contest was drawing to a close.
With more on the line in Wednesday's tie, Iran are likely to be extra mindful at the back, and that could harm Syria's chances of scoring. The Eagles of Qasioun have only scored once at this year's Asian Cup, against one of the lowest-ranked teams in India, and even that didn't arrive until the latter stages of the game.
Iran should have enough to win inside 90 minutes and shut out Syria to advance to the next round.
Mehdi Taremi to score first @ 9/2
It was a slow start to the tournament for the Porto star as he failed to fire against both Palestine and Hong Kong, but the 31-year-old found his shooting boots against the UAE to confirm his nation's status as group winners.
Taremi's brace included the opening goal of the game in the 26th-minute, and he can be the man to kick things off again for Iran on Wednesday.
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