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PREVIEW: Iran vs. Syria | 2022 World Cup Qualifiers - Team News, Opposition Insight, Predictions and More

01.09.21PREVIEW: Iran vs. Syria | 2022 World Cup Qualifiers - Team News, Opposition Insight, Predictions and More

Written by Cyrus Mohadjer
Graphic by Mahdi Javanbakhsh

Thursday, 02/09/21: Iran vs Syria

Location: Tehran, Iran (Azadi Stadium)

Time Zones:

Tehran – 20:30
Los Angeles – 09:00
New York City – 12:00
London – 17:00
Berlin – 18:00
Sydney – 02:00

Where To Watch:

USA - Paramount+
UK - OneFootball App or onefootball.com/en/match/2232063
Sweden - C More Play
Australia - 10 Play
Iran - IRIB
Select Countries - youtube.com/AFCAsianCup
*If your country is not broadcasting the match, we will post a YouTube link on our Twitter @GolBezan, before Kick-Off.

 

It’s the beginning of the autumn term for Team Melli, who will open its 3rd round of Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Syria, before an encounter with another familiar face 5 days later, namely Iraq.

Recap

The summer was bright for Team Melli, who successfully met its target of making it to the next round of 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, despite a tricky situation to start with. In fact, Iran was forced to win all four of their remaining matches to have their fate in their hands, which they brilliantly did.

This stint included two convincing victories against their main rivals, namely Bahrain (3-0) and Iraq (1-0), whom they will meet again in the next stage, along with U.A.E, Lebanon, South Korea, and Syria. These last two teams were already part of Iran’s group for the third round of 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, which Team Melli comfortably led back then with a 7-point gap over the Koreans.

Skočić has now increased his record to 7-0 since taking over the team in 2020, with only 2 goals conceded, consolidating a defence which has proved to be an impregnable fortress over the years.

Team News

Team Melli’s squad will be very similar to the group of players who travelled to Bahrain back in June, except for a few notable absences, including captain Ehsan Hasjafi, but also Kaveh Rezaei, Morteza Pouraliganji, Majid Hosseini and Aref Gholami are all out with injuries.

Sardar Azmoun, who will most probably stay at Zenit for the rest of this season, has joined the training camp despite being suspended for the Syria game. The rest of the offensive line will feature stars Mehdi Taremi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh, along with Ali Gholizadeh, Karim Ansarifard and Mehdi Ghayedi.

One of the biggest omissions from this list might be that of Allahyar Sayyadmanesh, who has not made it to the 27-men squad despite being one of the most promising prospects of Iranian football.

Saman Ghoddos is expected to lead a 3-men midfield, coming off strong from his Premier League debut as he pulled together an amazing performance for his first start last weekend against Aston Villa.

Of the three goalkeepers, all playing for Iberian teams, Alireza Beiranvand should most probably continue holding the starting spot, despite not having played any of Boavista’s four league games so far.

Ten PGPL players have been called up, led by Vahid Amiri who might get the start as left back instead of Milad Mohammadi, who has not competed in an official game since June, after recently parting ways with Gent.

Sadegh Moharrami has been missing from Team Melli training this week and is not expected to be available for tomorrow's game.

Projected Starting Line Up (4-2-3-1) - Beiranvand; Salmani, Kanaani, Khalilzadeh, Amiri; Sarlak, Nourollahi; Gholizadeh, Ghoddos, Jahanbakhsh; Taremi.

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The Opponent

Since losing to Team Melli back in March, Syria managed to secure their spot for the third round of qualifiers with comfortable wins against the weak likes of Maldives and Guam. Five days ago, the team conceded a 1-2 loss against Algeria’s reserve team, only composed of players from the local league. Syria will be without star man Omar Al Soma, however FC Botosani’s Mahmoud Al Mawas and Al Wahda’s Omar Kharbin will look to cause Team Melli some problems.

Projected Starting Line Up (4-4-2) - Alma; Al Khouli, Al Baour, Al Midani, Kerdagli; Al Mawas, Haj Mohamad, Osman, Al Nakdali: Kharbin, Al Baher.

Prediction

Iran 4 - 0 Syria

Team Melli has won its last 2 friendly contests against Syria with a large margin, while the last official encounter yielded a 2-2 draw back in 2017, in the context of the final match of World Cup 2018 Qualifiers. The relevance of such result should be mitigated as Iran was already qualified, while Syria was looking for a point which eventually sent them to the playoffs. This match is actually the last time Team Melli did not win in the Azadi Stadium.

The dynamic is clearly in favour of Iran, who will surely leverage on the high-performance level displayed early in the season by its Legionnaires, as Jahanbakhsh and Taremi have already been decisive multiple times.

To listen to our podcast previewing the Iran vs. Syria match, visit: 

golbezanpodcast.com/golbezan/preview-iran-vs-syria-2022-world-cup-qualifiers

Squad List

Image

Azadi Stadium, Tehran