FIFA World Cup 2022 Live Updates: England vs Iran
05:30 PM IST: Welcome to the live blog of the FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage match between England and Iran.
England‘s recent results suggest that they are not well ready to undertake their World Cup matches cogently, but Southgate will hopefully help players regain his players’ impetus in their pivotal match against Iran. Following their frustrating Nations League campaign, the Three Lions will need to regain their bearings in this match, as a win might enhance their confidence for subsequent fixtures.
Iran are always viewed as a banana skin and should not be overlooked; with such a talented roster, it will be tricky for England to breach their defense. They are always fast to exploit opponents’ deficiencies, and based on their recent form; they appear to be in good shape and ready to win.
England form (all competition): L-D-D-L-L-D
Iran form (all competition): W-L-W-D-W-L
Injury and team news
It would be early to begin Kyle Walker, who is still not fit as he recovers from groin surgery. While James Maddison, who injured himself in the Leicester game, did not train with the team last week. Rice and Phillips formed a solid team on their way to the Euro 2020 final, but the latter has barely played this season, suffering a shoulder injury, which could allow Bellingham to fill in for him in the first game.
Iran’s Omid Ebrahimi will miss the game due to a groin injury, while Bayern Leverkusen‘s Sardar Azmoun tore his calf muscle, and his status is unknown. These two are Iran’s only injury concerns, with the rest of the team expected to play against England.
Players to watch
Jude Bellingham, who has been intriguing for the club this season, should start ahead of Kalvin Phillips. If he combines well with Foden and Rice, he can help Southgate take the ball forward and create up spaces with his fluid passing and high-pressing skills to control the midfield and game. Bellingham deserves to be in the starting lineup against Iran.
Mehdi Taremi is a key team member, and the team will rely heavily on him. Taremi excels when the squad is under strain in big games and has scored several vital goals for Iran against big nations. Although Sardar Azmoun will be out, the Porto striker will have to take the lead in this crucial match. He is a seasoned attacker with devastating striking power who should cause disturbance for England’s defense.
This will be the first time they will meet in a major tournament.