England vs Iran Prediction

21st November 2022
16:00 Qatar Time/13:00 GMT
Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Current Form (Last Five Matches):



3-3 (H)


1-0 (A)


4-0 (H)


0-0 (H)


1-1 (A)








2-0 (N)


1-0 (H)


1-1 (N)


1-0 (N)


2-1 (N)






World Cup Head-to-Head Record




England vs Iran Prediction Match Overview


The second day of the tournament will see the 5th ranked England side in poor form take on the 20th ranked side in Iran, who come into the tournament as Asia’s highest ranked side.

The English come into the tournament on the back of a disastrous UEFA Nations League campaign which saw them fail to win a single game. Three draws and three defeats including a 4-0 mauling at the hands of the Hungarians does not inspire confidence, although they were able to claim a point in their final match against Germany in a breakneck 3-3 draw. England will be hoping that their recent poor form is a blip rather than a harbinger of things to come, as their only defeat in the previous 22 games came in the form of a penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

The Iranians for their part have produced some impressive performances against both Senegal and Uruguay – two sides who are being tipped to do well at the tournament, albeit in friendly matches. A 1-0 victory over the the Uruguayans was followed up four days later by a 1-1 draw with the Senegalese. A 2-1 defeat to Algeria in a friendly match in June was under the previous coaching regime, and the Iranians also defeated Nicaragua 1-0 in their final friendly before the tournament to build upon their form under Carlos Queiroz.

Injuries and Suspensions


Will Not Play: Kyle Walker (ENG)

Might Not Play: Sardar Azmoun (IRA)

Possible Lineups

England vs Iran Prediction Analysis


It’s expected that England will employ a controlled, possession based style of football characterised by a careful build up from the back. They will look to transition quickly and at times directly when the opportunity arises. Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden are likely to be favoured as inside forwards and both are considered to be highly intelligent off-ball players who are capable of stretching defences. This provides opportunities for quick interplay in the final third often choreographed by England’s creator-in-chief Harry Kane who plays in the Trequartista tradition. England’s wing backs, Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw are crucial as attacking outlets but must remain disciplined as England will look to play a high defensive line and a high line of engagement for the press. This means it’s unlikely that England will field Trent Alexander Arnold unless they either find themselves behind in the second half or are searching for a winner. The likes of Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, despite being a double pivot on paper, will look to break the lines repeatedly in order to join the attack and overwhelm the Iranians. England’s formation for this game is a source of some conjecture, with Southgate experimenting with a back four of late. We can expect Harry Maguire, John Stones and Eric Dier to start if England opt for a back five, with Mason Mount as an additional creative midfielder if England go with a four. The English have plenty of options from the bench, with Jack Grealish able to play anywhere along the attacking midfield line, and the recently recalled Marcus Rashford is familiar with a wide-left attacking role and will be in direct competition with Raheem Sterling for selection as Harry Kane is expected to be ever-present.

Iran have a well earned reputation for defensive solidity which is only enhanced by the return of celebrated coach and renowned tactician Carlos Queiroz. While Iran may line up with a back four on paper, we can expect this to be a five at times with defensive midfielder Saeed Ezatolahi slotting in to form a central three with Majid Hosseini and Hossein Kanaanizadegan in order to deny the English attackers the room they require to operate. They will be wary of allowing the likes of Sterling and Foden from getting in behind so they’ll almost certainly be implementing a low block while looking to break at every opportunity. The Iranians won’t panic as England look to turn the screw, as they demonstrated recently in friendlies against Senegal (40% possession) and Uruguay (37%). Iran will look to take advantage if England over-commit in attack or lose concentration and they have the weaponry to do so. An attacking trident of the prolific Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi who has impressed in this season’s champions league and Feyenoord’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh will be supplemented when the opportunity arises by Brentford’s Saman Ghoddos. Nominally a left-back, Ehsan Hajsafi was selected by Goal.com as Asia’s most promising player in 2009 and can play anywhere along the left flank. It’s likely therefore that Iran will look to attack in numbers when the opportunity arises and we can say with confidence that Iran’s chances of getting something from the game hinge on their ability to exploit mistakes without being exploited in turn themselves.

England Key Players

Harry Kane

We expect that the Iranians will prove to be tough to break down, so it falls primarily to England’s striker and chief creator to provide telling passes in addition to his own considerable goal threat. Kane’s propensity to drop deep suits this England team in a game like this as England will look to primarily play the game in Iran’s half and will require Kane to get on the ball as much as possible.

Jude Bellingham

Bellingham’s presence in the heart of midfield will be crucial for the English as they will need to be able to play through the lines of a proficient Iranian defensive setup. Bellingham possesses the ability to play in a direct manner with the ball at his feet and will help with quick transitions as the opporunity arises.

Iran Key Players

Sardar Azmoun

Apparently, Iran’s star striker dubbed the ‘Iranian Messi’ is fit to play, and the Iranians will be relying on the Bayer Leverkusen striker to make quick, intelligent decisions on the counter. Fortunately Azmoun is up to the task and has a well-earned reputation as a playmaker forward to accompany his hugely impressive international goalscoring record.

Mehdi Taremi

Taremi is a very technically gifted, versatile forward who can play anywhere along the forward line and produce the unexpected – exactly what the Iranians will need if they find themselves deprived of possession for long periods of time and opportunities are at a premium. Taremi’s excellent Champions League form for Porto bodes well.

England vs Iran Prediction


We feel that England will likely have the lion’s share of possession and will be confident that they will be able to play the majority of the game in Iran’s half. In turn, Iran will be confident that they have the tools to hurt England on the break and given that the English defence can be somewhat pedestrian at times it’s entirely possible that Iran will find the net.

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