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Iran Team Preview for World Cup 2022

Iran Team Preview for World Cup 2022 Featured Image

Iran, previously a soccer afterthought, is now one of Asia’s most reliable teams. Team Melli qualified well for the third straight race. Now, it’s sending almost the same team to the World Cup that didn’t move on in 2018, even though it was in the same group as eventual champion Spain and runner-up Portugal.

Iran’s path to Qatar shines off the field. Several ex-national team players were jailed for speaking out during women’s rights protests. Because national team players won’t speak out, symbolic measures like concealing the team’s emblem during the national anthem have grown widespread. Due to political tensions, there has been an ongoing effort to eliminate Iran from the competition.

World Cup preparations have been a disaster. Dragan Skokic was fired in July, reinstated a few days later, and then fired again in September by Carlos Queiroz. Saddar Azmoun got injured while playing for Bayer Leverkusen. He guided the team to Qatar with ten goals and four assists in qualifying. It’s unclear how beneficial he’ll be if he goes.

If Iran hopes to reach the World Cup knockout stage for the first time, its seasoned presence and devotion must be strong enough to overcome the cacophony.

Group B Iran Matches Schedule (All Times Eastern)

  • Vs. England, Nov. 21, 08:00 A.M.
  • Vs. Wales, Nov. 25, 05:00 A.M.
  • Vs. USA, Nov. 29, 02:00 P.M.

Iran Team Coach

  • Coach Name: Carlos Queiroz, Hired in September 2022
Iran Team Preview for World Cup 2022 Post Image

Players of Iran to Watch: Mehdi Taremi, Forward

Arsenal is apparently interested in signing the Porto player after scoring double-digit goals and assists in the Portuguese Primeira Liga in each of the previous two seasons.

The 30-year-old is a savvy player with extensive experience in major competitions, having started 15 Champions League games for Porto and scoring twice in the domestic cup final. Although he didn’t do much last year, he performed well and might be in his best shape.

Players of Iran to Watch: Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Center Back

Although Queiroz passed over the then-28-year-old Kanaanizadegan in 2018, the defender has become integral to Iran’s defence. In the preliminary round, he played the most minutes. He’s Iran’s most prominent defender. Thus, he’ll be relied on heavily to protect the box as his team faces several set pieces from better opponents.

Players of Iran to Watch: Alireza Beiranvand, Goalkeeper

After a stellar 2018 season in which he allowed just two goals in three games, Beiranvand is currently competing in his second World Cup. If he does well in qualifying again, he should be able to repeat as a tournament starter.

Breakout Candidate of Iran: Ali Gholizadeh, Attacking Midfielder

Gholizadeh, at age 26, is a significant offensive contributor for Iran, and he is one of the few likely stars who does not have considerable experience with the national team. Before this year’s qualification run, he only made nine appearances. In those 14 games, he started on the right flank and scored three goals.

For Belgian club Charleroi, Gholizadeh has not been a regular starter this season but has made significant contributions off the bench. Whether he comes off the bench to replace one of the two attackers or starts on the flank, his danger on the ball—playing forward-thinking passes and dribbling past defenders—will benefit Team Melli.

World Cup History of Iran

  • Sixth Appearance in FIFA World Cup
  • Last FIFA World Cup Appearance: 2018 (Group Stage)
  • Best Appearances in FIFA World Cup: Group Stage in 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014 and 2018

Outlook and Expectations from Iran

Undeniably, the political subplots between England and the United States are intriguing. Iran has the lowest FIFA composite rating of the group and will be looking to improve upon that in Qatar. In its sixth attempt, will it go to the semi-finals?

Undoubtedly, this team has felt the effects of the upheaval at home, and the symbolic protest during the pre-World Cup friendly proved that the tournament might serve as a platform for protests.

Add in the fact that the squad’s management was abruptly replaced, and it seems like things aren’t looking good for a team that wasn’t anticipated to get out of the group stage, to begin with.

England, the United States, and Wales have all been having a bad run of form simultaneously, which is great news for Iran. As expected, Team Melli qualified as the best team in Asia. This seasoned group has an excellent chance of reaching the round of 16 if they can carry their present form to Qatar.

World Cup Squad of Iran

  1. Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina) – Goalkeepers.
  2. Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis) – Goalkeepers.
  3. Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal) – Goalkeepers.
  4. Payam Niazmand (Sepahan) – Goalkeepers.
  5. Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal) – Defenders.
  6. Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens) – Defenders.
  7. Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor) – Defenders.
  8. Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal) – Defenders.
  9. Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al-Ahli) – Defenders.
  10. Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al-Ahli) – Defenders.
  11. Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens) – Defenders.
  12. Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb) – Defenders.
  13. Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis) – Defenders.
  14. Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan) – Defenders.
  15. Vahid Amiri (Persepolis) – Midfielders.
  16. Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle) – Midfielders.
  17. Saman Ghoddos (Brentford) – Midfielders.
  18. Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi) – Midfielders.
  19. Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord) – Midfielders.
  20. Ali Karimi (Kayserispor) – Midfielders.
  21. Ahmad Nourollahi (Shabab Al-Ahli) – Midfielders.
  22. Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis) – Midfielders.
  23. Karim Ansarifard (Omonia) – Forwards.
  24. Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen) – Forwards.
  25. Mehdi Taremi (Porto) – Forwards.

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