Veterans from each side will maintain the important thing in what might be a fast-paced, box-to-box match.
Who: Wales vs Iran, Group B
The place: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
When: Friday, November 25, at 1pm (10:00 GMT)
FIFA rating: Wales (19), Iran (20)
Main into the World Cup, Wales suffered a run of poor type within the UEFA Nations League. But that got here proper after their dramatic World Cup qualifying marketing campaign, throughout which they misplaced just one match in 10 – and that was to Belgium, who’re among the many favourites to elevate the trophy in Doha on December 18.
So what does that inform us? When on type and with out harm, the Welsh veteran trio of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen could make life very tough for opposing groups.
However that’s no small caveat. Allen continues to slog on in Swansea – the place he injured his hamstring lower than a month in the past. In the meantime, Ramsey, who picked up a hamstring harm in September, and Bale, who additionally had a latest leg harm, have traded within the rugged mountains and valleys of Wales for the hotter climes of Good and Los Angeles – the place they each wrestle to get recreation time.
The Welsh reliance on its skilled stars was on present within the workforce’s opening recreation of the World Cup, the place a late Bates penalty ensured they acquired some extent via a draw in opposition to the US.
Iran, in the meantime, wish to make a spherical of 16 look for the primary time at a World Cup. And this recreation is essential to these hopes after Staff Melli – as they’re identified – had been trounced 6-2 by England of their opening recreation of the World Cup.
Like Wales, they’ll rely on an skilled hand – or reasonably, foot. For the reason that 2020-21 season, Mehdi Taremi has been the highest scorer in Portugal’s soccer league, with 42 objectives. The 30-year-old, who scored each of Iran’s objectives in opposition to England earlier this week, has 18 months of expertise enjoying in Qatar.
Taremi can be main Iran’s entrance line, together with Alireza Jahanbakhsh of Feyenoord Rotterdam and Sardar Azmoun from Bayer Leverkusen. Azmoun was injured whereas enjoying for Leverkusen in early October, however is match to play in Qatar.
Within the two video games since Iran’s Coach Carlos Queiroz has been reinstated, the workforce have performed a 4-1-4-1 defensive formation with a floating participant forward of the defenders, permitting the midfield to press additional up the pitch. In assault, they’ve switched to 4-3-3.
This flexibility in formation and counterattack give Staff Melli the same model of play to the Dragons – the nom de guerre of the Welsh facet. Anticipate quick breaks alongside the wings from each groups. These aren’t groups excited about possession for its personal sake. Don’t expect a lot tiki-taka on this recreation. Do expect pacy, box-to-box motion.