Iran at the 2022 World Cup – Betting Odds & Tips
Iran will participate in its sixth FIFA World Cup this year. Just on September 7, the country made a team manager change, which is very unusual so close before a big tournament.
What impact this will have, who are Iran’s best players and where are the weaknesses, we analyze in detail here in our Iran World Cup 2022 tips and predictions.
Betting on Iran at the World Cup 2022
- Iran Odds World Cup 2022
- Current form and results
- Further preparation and test matches
- Iran fixtures at World Cup 2022
- Iran World Cup squad
- World Cup history of Iran
- FAQ – Questions and answers about Iran at the World Cup 2022
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Iran Odds World Cup 2022
Iran, making their sixth FIFA World Cup appearance, are considered one of the biggest underdogs in the tournament. At our top bookmaker 22Bet, Iran currently has the highest of all odds to win the World Cup, on par with Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica.
|➜ visit Bookmaker||➜ visit Bookmaker||➜ visit Bookmaker|
|Iran to win World Cup 2022||501||725||500|
Accordingly, the bookies reckon that any points won by the Iranians would be a sensation.
The same applies to a participation in the final of the 2022 World Cup. The change of coach a few months before the tournament made the situation even more uncertain for Iran. They parted ways with Croatian coach Dragan Skocic at the beginning of September and appointed Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, who already managed Iran from 2011 to 2019.
He is now expected to save what can be saved after weak pre-tournament games. Iran also has the highest possible odds of all teams participating for betting tips to reach the final.
Iran will play against England, the USA and Wales in Group B. Against the Americans they already played at the 1998 World Cup and marked one of only two wins at World Cups in this (politically) spicy “derby”. Another win over the up-and-coming US boys this year would be just as big a sensation as a success over Wales or even the big group favorites England.
Winning the group would probably be one of the biggest possible sensations of the 2022 World Cup.
Although Iran is considered one of the biggest underdogs of the tournament, the team is peppered with some top players who play in European top sides, who also have relatively “low” odds to win the Golden Boot for the World Cup top scorer compared to other clear underdogs.
The bookmakers believe that Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi could score a goal or two. It will most likely not be enough for the top scorer, but the odds on the Iranian strikers show a certain ambivalence compared to other glaring tournament underdogs.
- Sardar Azmoun to be World Cup top scorer @ 126.00 / Bet365
- Mehdi Taremi to be World Cup top scorer @ 151.00 / Bet365
- Karim Ansarifard to be World Cup top scorer @ 201.00 / Bet365
Current form and results
The weak pre-tournament games, as well as the final phase of Asian World Cup qualifiers, caused unrest in Iran and doubts about the competence of Croatian coach Dragan Skocic. In the final games of the qualifying campaign, they struggled to secure wins over teams such as Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. Against South Korea they suffered an expected defeat.
It was finally a friendly match in June 2022 that prompted the Iranian federation to rethink. Against Algeria, which failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar itself, there was a 1-2 defeat and the team presented itself uncertain and without any self-confidence. Only after a few months’ delay Skocic was shown the door and he was replaced by former manager Carlos Queiroz from Portugal.
However, they may have been blinded by the international year 2021, where Iran did not lose any of its ten games and only had to accept a 1-1 draw against South Korea. However, most of the opponents were not top-class: Iran won three times against Syria and twice against Iraq. The biggest win was settled against soccer dwarfs from Cambodia, who were shot off the pitch 10-0 in Phnom Penh.
It is an old problem for the Iranians that they are not sufficiently challenged in the Asian World Cup qualifiers. At World Cups, the level of the opponents is much higher and the Iranians are quickly overwhelmed as a team as a result.
In September 2022, Iran played two friendly matches in Austria. The World Cup underdog achieved a real feat in the process.
The first was a 1-0 win over Uruguay, followed by a 1-1 draw with Senegal. The Iranians thus scored against two teams that can certainly be described as dark horses at the 2022 World Cup. In the two games together, however, the Iranians collected only 0.45 Expected Goals, from which they scored two goals. The goal scorers were the two top strikers Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun, who we will present in more detail in our team analysis below.
This efficiency shows that the Iranians should by no means be underestimated. Although they were the inferior team in both matches, they were wide awake in the decisive moments.
Of course, you can’t compare friendly matches with the situation in a major competition, but opponents should be warned not to lose sight of the Iranians’ offensive line in particular.
Iran international games in 2022
|27/01/2022||Iraq||H||1 – 0||2.50 : 0.77||58,18%||80,81%||48,37%|
|01/02/2022||UAE||H||1 – 0||1.83 : 0.60||40,66%||78,21%||54,75%|
|24/03/2022||South Korea||A||0 – 2||0.43 : 2.98||43,46%||80,99%||45,93%|
|29/03/2022||Lebanon||H||2 – 0||0.81 : 0.17||69,34%||87,29%||50,84%|
|23/09/2022||Uruguay||N||1 – 0||0.26 : 1.23||40,84%||80,64%||52,20%|
|27/09/2022||Senegal||N||1 – 1||0.19 : 1.09||48,22%||83,29%||49,70%|
Fun fact: Because Iran has to play against amateur teams like the Maldives, Guam or Myanmar in the World Cup qualifiers, true hammerings are not uncommon. The biggest victory in the association’s history came in 2000, when Guam was defeated 19-0. Until recently, Iran’s legendary striker Ali Daei was the world’s top scorer for national teams with 108 international goals. He was only replaced by Cristiano Ronaldo last year.
Further preparation and test matches
So far, the Iranian national team has not fixed any further friendly matches before the World Cup 2022. We will update this page continuously and inform you as soon as the further program of Iran is fixed!
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Iran fixtures at the 2022 World Cup
Iran will open Group B with the most difficult of the three matches: November 21 in al-Rayyan against England, who are the clear favorites in this group. No one expects the Iranians to win a point here, but the games in which they are more likely to surprise follow on their heels.
|Nov. 21||4 p.m.||B||Khalifa International||England – Iran|
|Nov. 25||1 p.m.||B||Ahmed bin Ali||Wales – Iran|
|Nov. 29||10 p.m.||B||al-Thumama||Iran – USA|
Iran World Cup squad
About half of Iran’s national players earn their money in Europe. Some of the national team players are important pillars for their teams, but the quality drop to those players who still play in the Iranian Azadegan League is very high. We venture an Iran World Cup 2022 analysis, looking at the individual team parts and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the squad.
The number one goalkeeper for Iran is Alireza Beiranvand, who played the last two years in Europe for Royal Antwerp and Boavista Porto, but failed to convince there in each case, which is why he returned to Iran and is now keeper at top club Persepolis.
However, the European experience just before the World Cup will have been beneficial for the 30-year-old goalkeeper.
- GK – Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis FC)
- GK – Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina)
- GK – Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal)
- GK – Payam Niazmand (Sepahan)
Iran Center Backs
Given that Iran will have to operate more defensively at the 2022 World Cup, the central defense is filled with insufficient quality.
With Majid Hosseini, who plays in Turkey, Iran has only one player playing abroad for this important position, but even he repeatedly presents himself error-prone at his club Kayserispor.
- CB – Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor)
- CB – Hossein Kanaani (Al-Ahli SC)
- CB – Shoja Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli SC)
- CB – Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis FC)
Left-back Ehsan Hajsafi, who has more than 100 caps under his belt and currently plays for AEK Athens in Greece, is one of the mainstays of Iran’s defensive lineup. In addition, it currently looks like right-back Sadegh Moharrami will be able to carve out a regular spot for himself at Dinamo Zagreb.
At the start of the Champions League season, for example, he started in the 1-0 win over Chelsea and delivered a decent performance. Iran’s full-back line could thus get into a bit of a groove in time for the 2022 World Cup, although the very big quality is missing here as well.
- RB – Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb)
- RB – Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan)
- LB– Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athen)
- LB – Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens)
- LB – Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal)
Iran Central Midfield
In central midfield, Iran lacks the quality players they used to have in the national team’s prime. Defensive players like Ezatolahi have enough national team experience, but the balance on the central midfield axis is not great and the Iranian midfield center will have big problems against all three group opponents.
In defensive midfield, Iran can score with physicality, but the creative component will almost certainly fall well short.
- DM – Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle BK)
- DM – Roozbeh Cheshmi (Estghlal)
- CM – Ahmad Nourollahi (Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai)
- CM – Ali Karimi (Kayserispor)
- CAM – Saman Ghoddos (Brentford)
The Iranian offense is definitely the flagship of the team. In Sardar Azmoun, they have an attacker from the German Bundesliga and Mehdi Taremi, a brawny attacker who fits the description “late bloomer”, is one of FC Porto’s top goal scorers.
But Iran also has some top players on the wings, such as Feyenoord’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who is not currently a regular at his club but has plenty of European experience and has also played in the Premier League.
It will depend heavily on how the Iranians’ offensive line can anticipate. The central midfield is probably not good enough to put the strong offensive players in scene accordingly. Therefore, there will be a lot of defensive and build-up duties on the team’s strongest offensive players as well.
- RW – Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord)
- RW – Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi)
- LW – Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis FC)
LW – Vahid Amiri (Persepolis FC)
- ST – Sardar Azmoun (Leverkusen)
- ST – Mehdi Taremi (Porto)
- ST – Karim Ansarifard (Omonia)
Iran Competition Flair
Iran is facing major problems ahead of the 2022 World Cup: The late change of coach before the tournament, the weak preparation and also the opponents in the qualifiers hardly challenged the team. The sudden difference in quality that the group opponents will reveal will become a problem for the Iranians and especially for their defensive central axis including midfield.
The team is not ideally rehearsed and it remains to be seen whether new coach Carlos Queiroz will pursue new ideas compared to his predecessor Dragan Skocic.
The only advantage of the Iranians, who have never made it past the group stage at World Cups, is the rather high level of European experience of some key players, which is extremely important at the World Cup. In addition, Iran could have an affinity for the hot, dry temperatures. Qualitatively, however, there should be too large a gap between them and their opponents in a difficult group.
World Cup history of Iran
Iran will take part in a World Cup for the sixth time in 2022. The team from the Middle East has only managed to settle two win in 15 games: in 1998 they won 2-1 against the USA and at the last tournament in Russia the Iranians won 1-0 against Morocco thanks to an own goal in injury time.
The 2018 tournament was Iran’s best appearance at a World Cup: A win over Morocco was followed by a narrow 1-0 loss to Spain and a respectable 1-1 draw with Portugal in their final group game, with Karim Ansarifard converting a penalty in stoppage time.
However, Portugal would have had to be defeated for Iran to be qualifed for the round of 16, and so they were eliminated as third in the group.
FAQ – Questions and answers about Iran at the 2022 World Cup
It wasn’t until September 7, 2022 that Portuguese Carlos Queiroz took over as Iran’s coach. The veteran coached the Iranians previously between 2011 and 2019. Before that, the Croatian coach Dragan Skocic was dismissed due to lack of success in the tournament preparation.
Iran’s two stars are the team’s strikers: Sardar Azmoun of Bayer Leverkusen and Mehdi Taremi of FC Porto are considered clinical and, above all, physically strong attackers who can pose problems for any defense.
Iran will play its first match in Group B against high favorites England (Nov. 21). On the second matchday, the team will face Wales (Nov. 25) and on the third and final matchday of the group, they will take on the USA (Nov. 29)
Iran will participate in a FIFA World Cup for the sixth time in 2022. The country has won two World Cup matches so far and has never qualified for the round of 16.
The midfielder Javad Nekounam currently is Iran’s most capped player. He played 149 games between 2000 and 2015, one more than legendary striker and ex-Hertha and Bayern player Ali Daei.
Ali Daei scored 108 goals for Iran and is clearly the country’s record goalscorer. He was the world record holder for most goals in international matches until 2021, when he was overtaken by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The national team of Iran is popularly known as “Team Melli”, which means “the national team”. However, the Iranian national team is also known as “Persian Stars”, “Shiran e Iran” (“Iranian Lions”) or “The Lions of Persia”.