Wales vs Iran Prediction

25th November 2022
13:00 Qatar Time/10:00 GMT
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

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Wales vs Iran Prediction Match Overview


Wales vs Iran is a pivotal game in Group B. Wales come in off the back of a spirited 1-1 draw against the USA. They were largely outplayed in the first half and found themselves 1-0 down after Pulisic found Weah with a through ball, but the Welsh responded well and equalised late on through a Gareth Bale penalty. Iran come into the game on the back of a 6-2 shellacking from group favourites England and will be seriously concerned about the quality of their defensive work considering they are known for defensive solidity. They can take some confidence from the quality of Mehdi Taremi’s first goal. A win for Iran puts them back on track and a win for Wales would go some way to solidifying their path to the last 16.

Injuries and Suspensions

Might not play:

Will not play: Beiranvand (Iran)

Possible Lineups

Wales vs Iran Prediction Analysis


The result of Wales vs Iran could go a long way to determining which side gets out of the group, assuming that England are the group favourites. The Welsh were able to adjust against USA’s possession style football in the second half, going from just 33% possession in the first half to 49% in the second. This could be attributed to the introduction of Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore and his superior ability to hold up the ball compared to Dan James who is more of a wide man/inside forward who likes to get in behind defences. This allowed the Welsh to gain a foothold in the game and put the USA under the kind of pressure that they failed to do in the first half. As a result, Kieffer Moore may start here.

Iran will want to put the England game behind them as quickly as possible and we anticipate a formation change here to 4-2-3-1 as they understand they will have to take the game to Wales to be in with a chance of reaching the last 16 in their final game against the USA. The Iranians were far too passive against an England side with some highly publicised defensive issues and were utterly dominated in the first half, with only an 18% share of possession. They improved somewhat in the second half and generated some chances of their own on the break, but they were 4-0 down and we can speculate that complacency on behalf of the English accounted for at least some of their second-half improvement.

Wales will look to impose themselves on the Iranians in exactly the same way they managed to impose themselves on the Americans in the second half of their opener. We can expect them to possess a considerable threat from crosses and set pieces which will be compounded by Iran missing their first-choice goalkeeper. If Wales opt to stick with Dan James in the starting 11, it’s he in particular who will pose the threat of getting in behind the Iranian back line. With the Welsh likely to line up again with a back 5, the Iranians must make their numerical advantage in midfield count It’s imperative that their talented attackers, Sardar Azmoun; who is working his way back to full fitness; and Mehdi Taremi are involved often to get at the Wales back line.

Wales Key Players

Ben Davies

Wales will have to contend with two dangerous attackers in Azmoun and Taremi and Davies in particular will be relied upon to ensure that neither receives the ball with time to turn and create an opportunity. Known to be a calm performer under pressure, Wales may find themselves under the cosh at times from an Iranian side who have all been written off after their poor opening performance, yet coming into the tournament they were in much better form. In this respect, Davies is likely to act as the defensive spare man, firefighting dangerous situations as and when they occur.

Aaron Ramsey

Wales will need to make the most of their possession and for that, they will need a reliable midfield outlet to help them make the transition from defence to attack. Ramsey certainly fits the job description, and his ability to make a yard or two for himself in what will surely be a congested midfield area will go a long way to determining how much of the ball the Welsh have and what they can do with it. Ramsey is also a goal threat in his own right and as the Iranians will likely try to take the game to Wales, this could open up favourable counter-attacking opportunities.

Iran Key Players

Sardar Azmoun

We didn’t get to see much of Iran’s talismanic forward as he came into the tournament on the back of an injury, but we expect him to be fully fit and raring to go for this one. Azmoun has been dubbed the ‘Iranian Messi’ and with his excellent dribbling ability and eye for goal, it’s clear to see why. Iran will need to move the ball quickly and rely somewhat on the unexpected as Wales may prove tough to break down, so Azmoun’s talents will be in high demand here.

Mehdi Taremi

Another hugely unpredictable attacker at Iran’s disposal, Taremi was one of the few players to emerge with any credit from their group opener against England. Possessing superb technique and able to drop off the play in a variety of positions to pick up the ball in dangerous areas, Wales will have their hands full with the Porto man who has carried his excellent club form into the tournament. Given that Iran are almost certain to benefit from more possession than they did against England, Wales will be in for a long night if they don’t have a plan to deal with him.

Wales vs Iran Prediction


Make no mistake, Iran were mostly terrible in their opening game. England are a talented side, but the Iranians were far too passive in their approach and this will need to change immediately if they’re to have any joy out of this one. Wales for their part grew as the game went on against the Americans and probably merited a point in the end. We expect that both teams will go for it as they see this as a winnable fixture, but for us Iran will put in an improved performance and their strength in attack will see them edge a closely fought encounter.

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