Team Melli or in other words Iran is among the best teams from Asia. The Iranians are one of the best home teams around the world. It is almost impossible to beat this team on its territory. Unfortunately, for everyone in Iran the World Cup will be held in Russia and for this reason, Iran needs to improve its away performance as well. Historically this will be the fifth World Cup for Iran. So far they have only 1 win and the whole nation dreams for another victory. The chances for that are not low counting the fact that in Group B of the World Cup, Iran will play together with Morocco. In this game, Iran will try to earn the win since the other two opponents are Spain and Portugal.

HEAD COACH AND LINEUP

Since 2011 the head coach of Iran is the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz. Before this position, Carlos Queiroz used to coach teams like Real Madrid, Manchester United and the national team of Portugal. All this creates a really successful portfolio for the Portuguese native. This is the second World Cup for which Carlos Queiroz qualifies Iran. The previous one was not that successful and for this reason, Queiroz wants to prove that he can do better with one of the best Asian teams. Queiroz relies on defensive style and for this reason, Iran is one of the strongest teams on defense in Asia if not the best. The big question is on which players Carlos Queiroz can rely during the World Cup?

Iran has two fairly decent goalies in their squad. Still one of them is a bit more famous and reliable. His name is Alireza Beiranvand from the local Iranian grand Persepolis. The 25-year-old goalie was ranked as the ninth best goalie in the world for 2017. This is a really big accomplishment for a player coming from Iran. For this reason, we might be expecting great performance from this player.

As we mentioned few sentences before, Iran relies on defense more than on creating goal chances. If Queiroz wants to keep a clean sheet for his team, he must have reliable defenders. Such is Jalal Hosseini who is the key player in the Iranian defensive line. He is 36 years old, but this does not mean that he will not compete on a top level at the Russian stadiums. Hosseini had played in more than 100 games for Iran and his vast experience should help Iran in their target to concede as fewer goals as possible.

The next key player in the Iranian squad is the midfielder of Nottingham Forest Ashkan Dejagah. Dejagah used to be in a great form a few years ago and this form secured him transfers in teams like Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg, and Fulham. Since 2015, the career of Dejagah is going downwards. Surprisingly his performance in the club teams for which he is playing is totally different from his performance for the national team of Iran. When he plays for Iran he is performing on a much higher level. For this reason, the attacking midfielder is also the captain and the leader of this nation.

On offense, Iran has one really interesting player that will be the key to a possible great performance by the Asians. His name is Sardar Azmoun, but many people know him as the Iranian Messi. Azmoun had scored 23 goals in 31 games for Iran. This statistic shows that Azmoun is probably the most important player of Iran. His performance at the World Cup will be vital for the whole team performance at the tournament.  

    

STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES

The biggest strength of Iran is the solid defense that the team has. The football philosophy of Carlos Queiroz is perfectly played by his players. The team defends as a whole and for this reason, many teams have problems to score against them. In the same time, Iran experience problems in attack. They have a great player like Azmoun, but this will not be enough in order to compete against teams like Spain and Portugal. Most likely, Iran will not receive plenty of goals but more importantly will be if they can score their goal scoring opportunities which are not going to be a lot.

FIXTURES

DateTeam 1Team 2VenueLocal Time
15-Jun-18MOROCCOIRANSaint Petersburg Stadium18:00 
20-Jun-18IRANSPAINKazan Arena21:00 
25-Jun-18IRANPORTUGALMordovia Arena21:00 

The World Cup for Iran starts on June 15th in a game against Morocco. This is a great chance for both teams to win the three points and dream for something more. Iran will have all the chances to achieve good results against the Africans that can put them into interesting position before the games against Spain (June 20th) and Portugal (June 25th). It will be a miracle if Iran steals something from those two European teams, but we are sure that especially against Portugal, Carlos Queiroz will try to extract the best from its players.