World Cup Preview - Iran
History in the World Cup
Iran have qualified for the prestigious tournament 5 times. They started their story at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina but failed to get past the first round. This tournament would be the last World Cup for Iran for 20 years when they qualified for the 1998 edition, but once again failed to get past the first round. Since then, they have been semi-regulars in the tournament, participating in the 2006 and 2014 editions, but failing to qualify for the knockouts. Iran will hope to break their streak of ducks when they travel to Russia next month.
Iran have played 12 competitive matches since the start of 2017 and they have been in red hot form. Losing only once to higher ranked Tunisia, they have won 8 games and drawn 3, including a 1-1 draw to World Cup hosts Russia. They have had impressive wins over this period, beating teams like South Korea, fellow participants Panama and a 4-0 mauling of Sierra Leone. With friendlies against Turkey, Greece and Lithuania coming up, they will hope to continue their form and gain some momentum before their opening game of the World Cup.
Squad (Probables) Manager: Carlos Queiroz Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand, Rashid Mazaheri, Hossein Hosseini Defenders: Vouria Ghafouri, Jalal Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Morteza Pouraliganji, Majid Hosseini, Pejman Montazeri, Aghaei, Ramin Rezaeian Midfielders: Ehsan Hajsafi, Saeed Ezatollahi, Masoud Shojaei, Omid Ebrahimi, Vahid Amiri, Saman Ghoddos, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ashkan Dejagah Forwards: Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi, Reza Ghoochannejad, Sardar Azmoun
Alireza Jahanbakshsh has been wonderful for AZ this season and he will be the man to watch out for. The 24 year old was the leading scorer in the Eredivisie this season with 21 goals and also had 12 assists to his name. He is very creative and quick and his ability to see open spaces can only be matched by few. Jahanbakshsh will need to be at his best if Iran are to qualify for the knockouts.
Rankings FIFA- Current 36 Highest 15 ELO- Current 21
Follow @thefutebolist for more! ( He gave the statistics for Jahanbakshsh)