Sports

England win nerve-wracking group opener match against Iran

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England vs Iran match for the World Cup 2022 group B opener—group of death—was held at Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar amid roaring football fans to support their teams.

Both countries had a history of resentment, and with the added pressure of competing on the world’s biggest stage, the match was surely entertaining. The match delivered excitement as England dominated this game, scoring six goals and having 79% ball possession.

England vs Iran

Based on their ranking, previous results, and tournament history, England is the group’s favorite to advance. Additionally, Southgate’s performance in this tournament can be a game-changer for him. He is under a lot of pressure following the Three Lions’ underwhelming performance in the UEFA Nations League. Following losses to Hungary and Italy, England was eliminated from the tournament, but their 3-3 tie with Germany provided some consolation.

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Southgate has picked a formidable 26-man team for the World Cup and is banking on his star players from the Euro 2016 success to regain their best form. Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, and Bukayo Saka, among others, will assist Captain Harry Kane in spearheading the attack by Three Lions. Kyle Walker and James Maddison are both injured and will not play at the Khalifa International Stadium. A strong midfield is also provided by Mason Mount, Jude Bellingham, and Jordan Henderson. However, Southgate hasn’t been able to prevent England’s defense from allowing goals to slip through. This has been the team’s biggest concern.

Iran is trying to take advantage of England’s porous defense with star striker Mehdi Taremi leading the charge, assisted by Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Carlos Queiroz will try to stifle the English attacking talent using his defense-heavy strategies. With victories over Lebanon and Uruguay in recent friendlies, Iran has had a respectable run of results.

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Iran hopes to go to the World Cup’s knockout round for the first time in its history, and even if bookies believe they have the lowest chance of doing so from Group B, they might yet come up big. Carlos Quieroz, a seasoned Portuguese manager, is now in charge of Iran. Quieroz has led teams like Sporting Lisbon and Real Madrid at the club level. During his two successful tenures with the club, he additionally served as Alex Ferguson’s assistant manager.

Opening games in World Cups are infamously challenging. Nobody wants to lose, and nobody wants to make a mistake. Everyone anticipates England to win, and win rather easily, but things may not go as planned.

Alan Smith has predicted, “It might turn out to be England trying to break down the massed ranks of the Iran defense. You could see a 1-0 – I’ve seen plenty of those over the years. I remember England playing Paraguay in Germany in 2006 and it was a real struggle. Maybe you get a goal in the 70th minute or something and you move on. I’d take a 1-0 now.”

England’s 26-man Squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Nick Pope (Newcastle)

Defenders: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Man City), Benjamin White (Arsenal), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Conor Coady (Everton, on loan from Wolves), Luke Shaw (Man Utd)

Midfielders: Declan Rice (West Ham), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Kalvin Phillips (Man City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Callum Wilson (Newcastle), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Man City), James Maddison (Leicester City)

Iran’s 26-man Squad

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan).

Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal).

Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi (Shabab Al Ahli), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor).

Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia Nicosia), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Mehdi Taremi (Porto).

FIFA 23 Score Prediction

Mirror simulated the England vs Iran game to get the predicted score. They used FIFA 23 to run the simulation and also updated the squads with the most recent injuries and suspensions. The predicted score was England 5 – 3 Iran.

The encounter between England and Iran is expected to be a nail-biting match. For the first time ever, Queiroz’s team has a chance to cause an upset and advance to the World Cup knockout phase.

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Murryam Hafeez

I am a Transportation Engineer by profession and also a voracious reader. I read everything, from novels to the ingredients written on my jar of peanut butter.

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