The biggest player in this fixture, yes, the man whose image appears above, he rescued a point for Wales in their opener against the United States in the first game, pundits across the world feel like he should and can indeed do more than winning and scoring a penalty. I personally tipped Wales to progress along with England in Group B, you just feel like this game against Iran is one they should win if they want to make it to the next round.
There’s one man who definitely has other ideas though, his name is Carlos Queiroz, veteran Portuguese man who led the Persian nation to the World Cup in 2018 where they narrowly crashed out with 4points after beating Morocco and playing out a 2-2 draw against Portugal. Carlos is a sound manager who obviously has a different plan coming into this game, their 6-2 loss to England cannot be a benchmark of judgment as the difference in quality was obvious, the fact that they scored twice is a factor they can build on as they face a team on just about the same level as themselves.
Mehdi Taremi is the man who scored twice against England, he’d be partnered with Sardar Azmoun in what I presume will be a 4-4-2 formation for Iran. They set out in a more defensive fashion against England; expect them to roll every dice left as they fight for a chance to remain in the competition.
On the other hand, Wales have players who could hurt even the best defenses with the likes of Daniel James and Harry Wilson going forward. I do not need to speak on Dan James, the former Manchester United winger was in electrifying form when he came on against the USA and will most likely start this game. They’ve lost Ethan Ampadu to injury which is a big blow, but ex Liverpool man Joe Allen brings with him many years of experience to that midfield alongside veteran Aaron Ramsey. There are good players for Robert Page to work with, he might like to switch from his 3-5-2 formation because I don’t feel like it favors them, Bale was greatly isolated in the first game and asides the penalty that he won and converted, his overall performance was fairly poor.
Taremi will get some joy playing against the Welsh defense made up of Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon for sure, and having a strike partner in Azmoun will definitely work in his favor. I feel the Iranians have some fire power high up the pitch to shake up the erratic defense of their opponents though both teams seem even on this occasion.
The failure to beat USA on the first day might prove costly for Wales who went on to make the knockout phases in the last two major competitions that they’ve played in, their chances of knockout football are looking slim while Iran can bounce back after tasting defeat in the hands of the best team in the group. This is a very difficult game to predict, I’m looking at where the game might be won or lost and I feel both coaches might set up in defensive formations as to prevent defeat rather than go all out for the win.
PREDICTION by Charles.E Ofili
WALES 1-1 IRAN.