14:00 IST: Welcome to the live blog of the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stage match between Wales and Iran.
Wales and Iran started very differently at the World Cup. In their first game, Iran suffered a 6-2 humiliation against England, while Wales salvaged the draw against the United States. With no wins behind it, this will be a virtual knockout for both teams. However, after the late comeback against the USA, Wales should go into the game with more confidence.
Iran will aim to perform much better after being dismantled by England. While her attack looked good at times, her defense exposed her. The Iranian team must set up a compact defense or it will be a long game.
Wales form (all competitions): DLLLD
Iranian form (all comps): LWDWL
players to watch
Mehdi Taremi was the only bright spot for Iran in the opening game. The Porto striker scored two goals and struggled alone against tall English defenders. He’s been in great form lately but will need a big hand from other players if Iran wants to progress to the next round.
Already in the first game of the tournament it became clear how Gareth Bale will cause a stir at the 2022 World Cup. The LA Galaxy forward helped Wales fight their way back into the game by providing the attacking spark they needed. In this game in particular, Bale will be confident of bringing down the Iranian defense.
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Wales entered the tournament with just a question mark over Joe Allen’s fitness, but after losing the first game, eyes will also be on Ethan Ampadu. There is good news for them too after Ramsey and Bale played 90 minutes against USA after having doubts about their fitness to play.
There are also some injured in the camp of Iran. Their star Sardar Azmoun still seems far from starting the game after playing just 13 minutes in the last game. Also, Alireza Beiranvand, their goalkeeper, sustained a facial injury in the first game.
Wales predicted XI:
Hennessy; Mepham, Rodon, Davies, Roberts, Allen, Ampadu, Williams, James, Bale, Moore
Iran predicted XI:
H. Hossein, Moharrami, Pouraliganji, Cheshmi, M. Hosseini, Mohammadi, Jakanbakhsh, Noorollahi, Karimi, Gholizadeh, Taremi
Wales and Iran face off for the first time in their history
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