With goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand likely to be sidelined with horrific injury in Iran’s World Cup opener, backup Hossein Hosseini has a tall order against Wales star Gareth Bale.
Iran, bottom of Group B following a 6-2 defeat by England, take on Wales on Friday at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Wales: Hennessy; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Ramsey, Ampadu, Williams; James, Bale; Moore
Iran: Hosseini; Moharrami, Pouraliganji, Cheshmi, M. Hosseini, Mohammadi; Jahanbakhsh, Noorollahi, Karimi, Gholizadeh; Taremis
Hosseini has already faced a fearsome opponent in Qatar, gaining the upper hand when Beiranvand was stretchered off in the first half of the tournament’s opening defeat on Monday before England opened the scoring.
Beiranvand was cleared to continue playing by Iran’s training staff after a collision with a teammate but later collapsed on the pitch and was taken to a local hospital.
Iran has not commented on his state, other than to say that he had a nose injury, was back with the team and was undergoing tests.
The injury called attention to FIFA’s concussion protocol. If it is determined that Beiranvand has suffered a concussion, he would be ruled out under FIFA’s return-to-play rules.
Iran coach Carlos Quieroz was pragmatic after the defeat.
“You win or you learn. We have had the privilege of learning a lot with the England team,” he said. “And in conclusion I will say that we are now much better prepared to play against Wales.”
Bale converted from an 82nd-minute penalty to give Wales a 1-1 draw with the United States in their opener.
The draw gave Wales a point in their first World Cup game since 1958 and a knockout shot within reach. Bale, who played for Major League Soccer’s LAFC last season, now has 41 goals in 109 international caps.
Bale has struggled with injuries and fitness for most of the year but scored from a header for LAFC in the MLS Cup championship earlier this month. LAFC won in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 tie with Philadelphia.
That’s not Wales’ only threat. Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore could make his first World Cup debut. Moore was a second-half substitute against the United States and immediately made an impact.
“He’s made a huge difference for us,” said Wales manager Rob Page.
Iran, which has qualified for the last two World Cups, has never progressed to the round of 16. And it doesn’t look like the team will make it through this year either.
Iran’s trip to Qatar has been overshadowed by internal turmoil. The nation, which lies across the Persian Gulf from Qatar, has been rocked by protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while being held by the morality police for allegedly violating the country’s mandatory dress code for women. women.
Activists have called for Iran to be expelled from the World Cup before the tournament begins. In their opening, Iranians did not sing the country’s national anthem in an apparent show of solidarity with the protesters.
The hardline Iranian media tried to blame the defeat to England on the unrest. The newspaper Kayhan he said Iran’s defeat came after “weeks of unjust and unprecedented psychological warfare against the team … by domestic and foreign traitors”.
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH
Where will the opening match of the World Cup between Wales and Iran kick off?
The Wales vs Iran match will kick off at the Ahmed Bil Ali Stadium.
When will the opening match of the World Cup between Wales and Iran start?
The match between Wales and Iran will kick off at 03:30 IST on 25 November 2022.
Where can you watch the game between Wales and Iran in India?
The opening match of the World Cup between Wales and Iran will be broadcast live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. On Android and iOS, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be live streamed on JioCinema.
Where can you watch the Wales v Iran match outside India?
The following list shows where you can watch the Wales vs Iran match outside India:
United States – TV: FOX, Telemundo; Live streaming: fuboTV, Fox Sports app, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
Canada – TV: CTV, TSN; Live streams: fuboTV, TSN apps
UK – TV: BBC One; Live stream: BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website
Australia – TV: SBS; Live stream: SBS on demand
New Zealand – TV: Sky Sports; Live streaming: Sky Sports
Malaysia – TV: RTM, Astro; Live stream: Astro Go
Singapore – TV: Mediacorp Channel 5; Live Streaming: StarHub TV+, IPTV, Singtel TV
Hong Kong – TV: BeIN Sports, ITV; Live Streaming: Now TV, ViuTV
Nigeria – SuperSport and Showmax Pro