After sharing the spoils with the USA in their opener, Wales will be looking to record their first win at the 2022 World Cup finals when they take on Iran on Friday. The Dragons continue to rely on Los Angeles FC star Gareth Bale, who scored the equalizer against the Yanks, but keep in mind that he is one yellow card away from suspension. There are no fresh injury worries in Robert Page’s team, but Kieffer Moore could sneak into the starting XI.
The Iranians, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 6-2 loss to England. A man to watch in the away team will be Porto attacker Mehdi Taremi, who scored a brace in Monday’s clash, but he is unlikely to help Carlos Queiroz’s troops avoid defeat in their second group game. Iran first-choice goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand suffered an injury against England, with Hossein Hosseini likely to step up. Wales and Iran will both be looking for better results as they meet each other in the second round of Group B fixtures at the World Cup.
Wales needed a late penalty to rescue a draw against the United States on Monday night, while Iran was thrashed by an England side that took their foot off the gas in the closing stages.
If either side wants their World Cup campaign to extend beyond this first round, they really cannot come away from this anything other than a win. That is especially crucial for Wales, who still have the hardest match of the group to come afterward when they meet England.
Where is Wales vs Iran playing?
Location: Al Rayyan, Qatar
Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Date: Friday 25 November
Kick-off Time: 10:00 GMT / 05:00 ET / 02:00 PT
Wales Team News
Joe Allen has started training again, which is a boost, although he remains a doubt for this game. Ethan Ampadu and Harry Wilson are also doubts after coming off again the United States.
Kieffer Moore could command a start after doing well off the bench.
Wales predicted lineup against Iran
Wales starting 11 (3-4-3): Hennessy; Mepham, Rodon, B. Davies; Roberts, Ramsey, Morrell, N. Williams; Bale, Moore, James.
Bench: Ward, A. Davies, Gunter, Lockyer, Cabango, Smith, J. Williams, Allen, Harris, Levitt, Ampadu, Colwill, Thomas, Johnson, Wilson,
Iran Team News
Star forward Sardar Azmoun wasn’t fit enough to start against England but came off the bench. However, Mehdi Taremi scored twice and isn’t likely to be dropped.
Hossein Hosseini is set to continue in goal in place of Alizera Beyranvand following the concussion he suffered against England.
Iran predicted lineup vs Wales
Iran starting 11 (4-5-1): H. Hosseini; Moharrami, Pouraliganji, M. Hosseini, Mohammadi; Jahanbakhsh, Noorollahi, Ezatolahi, Hajisafi, Amiri; Taremi
Bench: Abedzadeh, Niazmand, Khalilzadeh, Jalali, Ghoddos, Rezaeian, Ansarifard, Azmoun, Torabi, Kanaani, Gholizadeh, Karimi, Cheshmi
HIGHLIGHTED PLAYER (GARETH BALE):
Gareth Bale is a Welsh footballer who plays for Real Madrid as a winger. “Bailo” was born in Cardiff on 16 July 1989 and, as expected, he played for his hometown club Cardiff Civil Service at the start of his youth career. He moved to Southampton’s football academy in 1999 and he made great progress during his spell with the Saints.
Bale made 40 league appearances for the first team and it has to be noted that he played as a fullback at the start of his senior career. In 2007 he signed a contract with Tottenham Hotspur and he produced thrilling performances with the White Hart Lane outfit from 2007 to 2013. Real Madrid chiefs did well to sign him on 1 September 2013 for a fee of €91 million.
The Welsh winger won two Champions League trophies with Los Blancos (2013/2014, 2015/2016), and, speaking of his international career, he made it to the European Championship finals with Wales. The Welsh ace scored three goals at the showpiece tournament in France as the Dragons reached the semi-final.
HIGHLIGHTED TEAM (IRAN):
The Iranian Football Federation was founded back in 1920. Team Melli played their first match not before August 1941, when they faced British India in Kabul. The Iranians emerged triumphant in the game (1-0) and two days later they played their first FIFA international match against Afghanistan. In 1968 the Iranians won their first trophy, with the team lifting the Asian Cup title.
The Iranians repeated the success four years later and, to make things even better, they won the 1976 Asian Cup trophy as well. Speaking of their participation at the FIFA World Cup finals, Iran booked their place at the showpiece tournament for the first time in 1978. Team Melli then missed the next four major tournaments before qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals in France.
The Iranians participated in the 2006 and the 2014 tournaments as well and they did well to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia. Iran footballers wear white shirts and white shorts when playing at home, while the color of their away kits is red.
Wales vs Iran Score Prediction
Based on the two games these sides have been involved in so far, you would have to back Wales in this one. But Iran at least showed in the second half against England they have an attacking threat which means they have to be taken seriously.
Wales will have to defend resolutely but, if they get things right up front, it could be the first World Cup win since beating Hungary at the 1958 edition of the tournament.
Prediction: Wales to win in this round of the match.