England vs Iran : Match preview, team news and possible lineups

Last Updated on 20/11/2022 by

Most people probably believe that England’s World Cup debut against Iran will be fairly routine.

England breezed through qualifications for Qatar 2022 with the highest goal differential in the group phase of European qualifying games, scoring 39 goals and handing out just three defeats. The Three Lions advanced to the semi-finals in 2018 before reaching the final of the rearranged Euro 2020 competition last year.

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Gareth Southgate’s team will be confident that they can start the game with three points, but on Monday, they face a potentially challenging challenge.

Iran also had a strong qualifying run, winning eight out of ten games in the 3rd round of Asian qualifying while giving up just four goals. They are ranked 20th in the most recent FIFA rankings, ahead of teams like Serbia, Morocco, and Poland.

A change in head coach for Team Melli just two months before the World Cup—shortly after Carlos Queiroz had led Egypt to the Africa Cup of Nations final earlier this year—was far from ideal for their preparations. Dragan Skocic was unexpectedly fired and replaced by Queiroz in Qatar.

As the longest-running head coach, Queiroz will be in charge of Iran for the third straight World Cup after taking over for the second time. Wednesday’s friendly match between Iran and Tunisia took place behind closed doors, but Queiroz believed it helped his team prepare for England. Iran lost 2-0.

Iran is one of 20 teams that competed at both of the most recent World Cups, which were held in 2014 and 2018. Of these teams, they had the fewest shots, shots on target, and goals (three) scored in the group stages of both tournaments.

Since they are the only European team to have advanced to the semifinals of the two most recent major competitions, England will be hoping to get off to a strong start at the Khalifa International Stadium.

England Team News

For Manchester City and England, right-back Kyle Walker has already stated that he may not be ready for Monday’s game due to his recovery from groyne surgery, and James Maddison skipped training earlier this week in order manage his workload following an injury scare last weekend.

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Although it was never anticipated that the Leicester City player would play from the opening kickoff here, Kieran Trippier ought to start in Walker’s place on the right, and the age-old question as to whether Southgate will line up with something like a back 3 or back 4 is already being raised.

Rice and Kalvin Phillips were a productive midfield duo at Euro 2020, but Southgate may start Jude Bellingham instead due to Phillips’ limited playing time following shoulder surgery. Rice and Kalvin Phillips were a productive midfield duo at Euro 2020, but Southgate may start Jude Bellingham instead due to Phillips’ limited playing time following shoulder surgery.

England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Jude Bellingham; Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Phil Foden; Harry Kane

Iran Team news

Omid Ebrahimi, a seasoned midfielder for Iran, is the player the team is missing the most due to a groyne injury; nevertheless, Sardar Azmoun, a striker for Bayer Leverkusen who tore a calf muscle last month, is still on the squad.

It would be unexpected if Azmoun started in this match, but Queiroz has another capable center-forward in Mehdi Taremi of Porto, who is willing to carry the burden of scoring goals. Taremi should be backed up by Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who is a well-known name. Saman Ghoddos of Brentford should be happy with a spot on the bench as Ehsan Hajsafi prepares to make his 122nd appearance for Team Melli while donning the captain’s armband.

Iran possible starting lineup:

Beiranvand; Moharrami, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Mohammedi; Nourollahi, Ezatolahi, Ehsan Hajsafi; Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Taremi, Amiri

Players to Watch

Harry Kane

The captain of England, who earned the golden boot at the most recent FIFA World Cup in 2018, where 5 of his 6 goals in Russia happened to come in the group stage, has been crucial to his team’s last two victories in the World Cup and the European Championship.

In addition, Kane tied for the most goals scored in the European portion of the World Cup qualifying, and his shot conversions of 36.4% was the best of any player with at least 6 goals.

Mehdi Taremi 

Given his 40 goals in 63 games for his country to date, it makes sense that Sardar Azmoun will be the player England should keep an eye on. However, his lack of goals and playing time at the club level—he has only scored once in 22 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen since joining in January—could cost him his sharpness.

His international strike partner Taremi, on the other hand, has 13 goals in 19 games this season for Porto, including 5 in the Champions League. The Iranian has managed to score 60 goals overall in 109 games across stints with Rio Ave and Porto in the Portuguese Primeira Liga since 2019–20, 16 more than any other player during that time period.



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