Iran's World Cup 2022 Standings
Iran completes Group B, which also includes Portugal, Spain and Morocco. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Iran's Odds To Win The World Cup
Iran has made considerable progress under Carlos Queiroz and will come to Russia with a defensive system that will be hard to break down. Unfortunately, the only way to progress from the group stage is to win at least one pool match, and against Spain, Portugal and Morocco it will be a difficult task. Their best chance will come against the Africans, however, they are a strong side with plenty of decent players, so even that match will be tough.
Sports Interaction have listed the Iranians next to no chance of winning the World Cup, and only a minute chance of making it out of Group B. You can get +450 for Iran to make it to the second round, while the -833 on offer for them to fail in that respect shows how unlikely it will be.
Iran's defence is certainly one of their greatest assets, so your best bet is a head to head bet in any of their three matches. Try the unders market, particularly in their match against Morocco, as that is the match most likely to end with few goals.
Iran's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Iranian team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Sardar Azmoun (Forward)
The 22-year-old striker has already made thirty appearances for the Iranian national team and has an incredible conversion rate, with 22 goals. He is already the nation's fifth-highest goal scorer and showed his potential throughout the youth system with 29 goals in 30 starts for the U17, U20 and U23 sides. Azmoun managed a special goal in the recent friendly against Russia, which was held at the home of his current club side Rubin Kazan.
Azmoun's pace will trouble defenders, while his height also makes him a valuable asset when deployed as a target man. He scored eleven goals during qualification and will be one of the first names on the team sheet when Iran lines up against Morocco in the first match.
Saman Ghoddos (Midfielder)
Ghoddos was born in Sweden and played his first two international matches for his country of birth, however, he was also eligible to compete for Iran due to his heritage, and in August 2017 made the switch of allegiance to join the Iranian team. He has only made four appearances so far, although the pacey midfielder has already scored one goal, coming in the November friendly against Panama.
He has been prolific for Swedish club side Ostersunds FK since he arrived in 2016, already notching up 31 goals including seven in seven games throughout the 2017 Swedish Cup. He has also featured in this season's Europa League, helping his side progress to the knockout stages.
The Coach - Carlos Queiroz
One of the big reasons why Iran have excelled over the last four years is their coach, Carlos Queiroz. The Portuguese manager has been coaching since 1989 and took over the Iranian national side in 2011. His impressive resume includes stints at Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, and he was twice the assistant manager at Manchester United.
His international career has featured roles at the head of the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, while he also led Portugal on two separate occasions. He, of course, led the Iranians throughout qualifying without defeat, including a streak of twelve consecutive clean sheets at one stage, and has lost just eight matches in 81 starts at the helm. He is certainly a shrewd tactician that gets plenty out of his players.
Iran's World Cup 2018 Lineup
Iran's latest international was played against Venezuela in the Netherlands on November 13th, 2017, following a match against Panama four days earlier. Coach Carlos Queiroz applied vastly different teams in each match, keen to test out the depth of the squad. Below is the full lineup utilized in the 2-1 win over Panama.
Starting Lineup (4-1-2-3)
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis) - Vouria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Mortezi Pouraliganji (Al-Sadd), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Saeid Aghaei (Sepahan) - Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm) - Ahmad Abdollahzadeh (Foolad), Mehdi Taremi (Persepolis) - Ashkan Dejagah (free agent), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersund), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos).
Reserves: Amir Abedzadeh, Mohammad Mazaheri, Ramin Rezaeian, Jalal Hosseini, Ehsan Hajsafi, Milad Mohammadi, Vahid Amiri, Ali Karimi, Omid Ebrahimi, Akbar Imani, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Reza Ghoochannejhad, Sardar Azmoun, Kaveh Rezaei.
Iran's World Cup History
Iran is one of several teams appearing at the World Cup for the fifth time when they travel to Russia in June 2018. While they have never made it out of their group, it is certainly a positive that they have qualified for consecutive tournaments for the first time in their history, after also appearing in the 2014 edition in Brazil.
The 1978 World Cup in Argentina marked the country's inaugural start, and they managed a solitary point against Scotland in a disappointing campaign that saw them lose to both the Netherlands and Peru by three goals.
They had to wait another twenty years until they qualified for their next tournament, and recorded their first win - a 2-1 victory over the United States. Losses to Yugoslavia and Germany meant they finished third in Group F, although the margins of defeat were much lower this time around.
Iran managed a single point once again at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, drawing their final match against Angola after losing to both Portugal and Mexico. In 2014, they earned a draw with Nigeria and only lost 1-0 to Argentina after Lionel Messi's injury-time winner, however, a 3-1 defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina saw them eliminated at the final hurdle.
It doesn't look too good for the Iranians this time around, drawing both Portugal and Spain in a difficult Group B; however, the country should be optimistic given their excellent form during qualifying. Iran didn't lose a single game out of the 18 that they played, scoring 36 goals and conceding just five in a practically flawless display. If they can defend as they have over the last four years, they will certainly be in with a shot of sneaking through.