Iran still have a chance of reaching the World Cup knockout stages as long as they can bounce back from a heavy defeat to England in their opening game in Group B.
Carlos Queiroz named a team with a back five against England it didn’t really work. There is more onus on Iran to be a little more open against more favourable opposition when they face Wales and the United States in the days to come.
Here’s a look at the XI the Iran boss could name against Wales.
Mehdi Taremi cut a dejected figure as Iran were torn apart by England / ATPImages/GettyImages
GK: Hossein Hosseini – Set to continue in goal in place of the concussed Alizera Beyranvand – hopefully for his sake he won’t concede six.
RB: Sadegh Moharrami – Facing the pace of Daniel James could be a tough test after being run ragged against the Three Lions.
CB: Morteza Pouraliganji – Decent in the air but his distribution against England was poor and must improve so Iran can retain the ball.
CB: Majid Hosseini – The physical battle with in-form Wales striker Kieffer Moore could be a defining part of this one.
LB: Milad Mohammadi – Struggled so badly against England that he was hooked after an hour. Is another start in the offing? Possibly.
RM: Alireza Jahanbakhsh – An important source of creativity, Iran will rely on Jahanbakhsh to come good in the wide areas.
CM: Ahmad Noorollahi – Outclassed by Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice on Monday but will be more at home against Wales.
CM: Saeid Ezatolahi – Seemed to improve things when he came on against England and Queiroz may reward that endeavour with a start.
CM: Ehsan Hajisafi – The skipper could offer a little more in midfield with a tactical shift and greater numbers in central reas.
LM: Vahid Amiri – Could get a chance to start after not making it off the bench last time.
ST: Mehdi Taremi – Scored twice against England and is almost certain to keep Sardar Azmoun out of the team – that is unless Quieroz decides the pair need to play together.