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Iran - World Cup 2018

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Iran is a defensive-minded team; but, unlike many other squads, Iran has a potent offense as well and one of the world's best managers in Carlos Queiroz.

Queiroz experience managing clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid give confidence that Iran may be ready for the sport's biggest stage.

Iran’s World Cup History

Russia 2018 marks the first time that Iran has qualified for back-to-back World Cups. They have been the highest-ranked Asian team since December 2014 and currently sit at 33 in the FIFA world rankings.

Iran has qualified for the World Cup five times (78', 98', 06', 14' and 18'), but has never made it past the group stage. They were also unable to compete for most of the 1980's due to the Iran-Iraq war.

They have won three consecutive Asian Cup Championships, however, in 68', 72' and 76' without any other team in that region being able to repeat the feat.

Iran’s Road To The 2018 World Cup

In a fairly easy march to qualification, Iran bypassed the first round and went 6-2-0 in the second round of qualifying.

They scored 26 goals through those 8 games and only gave up 3. That record earned them the right to move on to the third round of qualifying, where they again went undefeated at 6-4-0, winning the group and automatically qualifying for the World Cup.

Since then, Iran has played three of five friendlies scheduled before the start of the World Cup and have won all three.

How Does The Iran World Cup 2018 Squad Stack Up?

Winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh(AZ Alkmaar), Striker Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan) and midfielder Saman Ghoddos (Ostersund) all have important roles on their European clubs.

Azmoun led Iran in scoring during qualifying with 6 goals in the second round and 4 goals in the third round, but Queiroz will need tremendous performances from the top down if Iran is going to get out of the group stage.

Look for Queiroz to employ a bait-and-switch type strategy that relies on sitting back and letting other teams make mistakes before deploying a counter attack. If not, Iran has also been known to use a more aggressive approach in recent games, preferring to maintain ball control higher up the pitch.

Iran Odds To Win World Cup 2018

Like Morocco, Iran is in a difficult position of being in a group with two teams that are almost certain to make it out of the group stage.

They take on Morocco first as the slight underdogs before going on to play Spain and then Portugal, as heavy underdogs. Should Spain lose their first match against Portugal, the odds may come down a bit for their game against Iran, as the whole world will be waiting to see if Spain blows it again like they did in 2014.

Iran World Cup 2018

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