2022 World Cup Preview: England vs Iran

The Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan will host England and Iran in the first game of Group B at exactly 13:00 GMT on Monday, November 21, 2022. 

For the first time in many years, Gareth Southgate and his men may be under enormous pressure to deliver at the tournament. Southgate has led the team to their best finish in many years at the World Cup as well as the European championship.

The 1966 World champions finished fourth the last time out in Russia and then followed with a more impressive but unfortunate finish at the Euros where they settled for second place after the final on penalties to Italy at Wembley.

The point pessimists may argue out is the fact that England have have not impressed in recent games, and can have a tough time in Qatar.

Meanwhile, Iran have lost a game in their last four games after beating Lebanon in the third round of qualifiers.

FORM GUIDE (LAST FIVE MATCHES)

England are yet to win a game in their last five matches with the Three Lions recording three draws and two defeats. Meanwhile, Iran have won three games including one against former champions Uruguay. In the remaining two, Team Meli has drawn and won one each.

ENGLAND’S FORM

26 September 2022        England          3–3              Germany  Nations League

23 September 2022        Italy               1–0            England  Nations League

14 June 2022                 England        0–4            Hungary Nations League A

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11 June 2022                 England         0–0             Italy  Nations League

7 June 2022                   Germany      1–1            England   Nations League

IRAN’S FORM

10 November 22      Iran               1–0        Nicaragua         Friendly

27 September 22     Iran               1–1        Senegal            Friendly

23 September 22     Uruguay         0–1        Iran                 Friendly

12 June 22                 Iran            1–2        Algeria             Friendly

29 March 2022          Iran             2–0        Lebanon           FIFA World Cup Qualifier

HEAD TO HEAD

Both teams are yet to lock horns in an official match.

TEAM NEWS AND PREDICTED LINE-UP

ENGLAND

With Reece James absent from the final squad, Trent Alexander Arnold becomes the absolute obvious option if Southgate opts for a 3-back approach. Kieran Trippier will also provide competition for the Liverpool man and may also be the preferred man on the right in a 4-back approach. Harry Kane will be most likely flanked by Sterling and Foden in the attack.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

(3-4-2-1): Pickford; Stones, Dier, Maguire; Trent, Rice, Bellingham, Shaw; Foden, Sterling; Kane

 

IRAN

Bayer Leverkusen forward Sadar Amzoun despite misfiring on the club front may be a force to reckon with considering his inspiring efforts in front of goal for Iran. The 27-year-old has netted 41 times for Team Meli in 65 appearances. His efforts may be buttressed with the input of Porto striker Mehdi Taremi who has scored five times for the Portuguese outfit in 11 games.

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PREDICTED LINE-UP

(4-3-3): Abedzadeh; Moharrami, Kanani, Hosseini, Haji Safi; Noorollahi, Ezatolahi, Sarlak; Azmoun, Taremi, Jahanbakhsh