Wales vs Iran live updates: Line-ups, start time, team news and ...

Wales and Iran head into their Group B fixture at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium knowing victory could take them a vital step towards qualification for the 2022 ...

World Cup, Group Stage - Group B - Matchweek 2

WAL

IRN

Sebastian Stafford-Bloor

November 25, 2022 at 2:07 AM EST

 Wales vs Iran live updates: Line-ups, start time, team news and analysis

November 25, 2022 at 2:07 AM EST

Gareth Bale ahead of the game

The Wales captain spoke to the media yesterday ahead of the Iran game.

On setting the record for most Wales caps, Bale said: "I haven’t really been focussing too much on the cap thing to be honest, just trying to focus on the game. On a personal level, it’s an amazing achievement, an hour to represent my country so many times. But it’s more important to get the victory tomorrow and hopefully make it a bit more special.

"It’s going to be a difficult game against Iran. they're a very good team, they're at the wc for a reason, some good attacking players, some good defenders. It's going to be a very difficult game. We have to stick to our gameplan. We’ve done our homework and it’s going to be a very difficult game.

"I seem to pop up in big moments I guess. I don’t really know why, maybe the bigger the occasion the more I focus. Maybe I just have the knack of scoring in big matches. As a team it doesn’t matter who scores."

Luke Bosher

Luke Bosher·

Junior Editor, News

November 25, 2022 at 1:30 AM EST

Iran remain a mysterious quantity

Iran remain a mysterious quantity

What Iran are remains a bit of a mystery.

No doubt they were subject to extreme external pressure ahead of their opening game with England and that, coupled with the horrible injured suffered by their goalkeeper, possibly contributed to that very meek and vulnerable showing. Iran are better than that.

Wales should expect to encounter more resilience this time around — and the way beyond that might be instructed by their second half against the USA.

Could Dan James and Gareth Bale work as a quick-breaking front-two? Possibly, but against an opponent now in ‘can’t lose’ territory, Page probably needs Moore’s pivot play — the ball needs to stick at the top of the pitch, the advancing wing-backs are going to need a target in the box, and Bale always seem more dangerous when attacking a defence that’s being disrupted by a more orthodox centre-forward.

Sebastian Stafford-Bloor

Sebastian Stafford-Bloor

November 25, 2022 at 1:01 AM EST

Wales brings out the best of Bale

Wales brings out the best of Bale

Is it time for Gareth Bale to relax? He has scored at the World Cup. Wales had not qualified since 1958 but the weight of all that time and expectation seemed light on his shoulders as he thundered the ball past Matt Turner from the spot to send the Red Wall of fans behind the goal shaking with energy. Personal achievement ticked off.

Bale won’t be satisfied, however. He believes Wales can qualify from the group and to do that he will need to keep extending himself in ways he hasn’t done all that often in recent years.

Though we have come to expect defining contributions from Bale, the sight of him completing full games in quick succession is becoming rarer. It is almost two years since Bale last played 90 minutes for his club — a 4-1 FA Cup win for Tottenham over Wycombe in January 25, 2021.

For Wales in the same period he has played eight full games. Three came in 14 days at the Euros last summer, with a further 86 minutes against Italy included too. He looked like he’d run out of gas in the last-16 tie against Denmark, and the challenge now will be to maintain freshness amid FIFA’s new edict to raise the time the ball is in play.

Laurie Whitwell has more.

Ali Humayun

Ali Humayun

How Gareth Bale is a 90-minute man for Wales (and no one else)

GO FURTHER

How Gareth Bale is a 90-minute man for Wales (and no one else)

November 25, 2022 at 1:01 AM EST

Team News

Wales seemingly came through their opening game unscathed. There was a brief worry for Neco Williams but he was able to continue before being substituted in the latter stages.

After his impressive second-half performance, it is hard to imagine Kieffer Moore will start on the bench again so Dan James, who was replaced by the Bournemouth forward at half-time, might drop out.

Moreover, Joe Allen will be fit for Wales when they face Iran on Friday.

The midfielder missed the games against the United States because of a hamstring injury. He has been out of action since September 17.

Iran are not quite as fortunate on the injury front. Their goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand had to be taken off in the first half against England with concussion so is unlikely to be available for selection.

Ali Humayun

Ali Humayun

Wales vs Iran preview: How to stream, start time, predictions and latest news ahead of World Cup Group B clash

GO FURTHER

Wales vs Iran preview: How to stream, start time, predictions and latest news ahead of World Cup Group B clash

November 25, 2022 at 1:01 AM EST

Welcome!

Another day, another round of mouthwatering action.

After securing a 1-1 draw against the USA in their first Fifa World Cup match for 64 years, Wales will return to the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Friday to take on Iran.

The two sides have only faced each other once before in men’s international football, with Wales winning 1-0 in a friendly match in 1978.

The referee for the match is Mario Escobar. The Guatemalan comes into the World Cup with plenty of major tournament experience, having taken charge of the Gold Cup final in 2019. A year later, he was the man in the middle for the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Following the results from the opening round, this is a huge match.

Wales would take a big step towards progression with victory but anything less than three points would leave them needing a result against England in the final group game to have any chance of making the knockouts.

Iran could be eliminated after just two games with defeat (if England also beat USA). However, victory for them would put them right back in the mix for a round-of-16 place.

Ali Humayun

Ali Humayun

Mario Alberto Escobar Toca (referee)

Caleb Wales (assistant)

Juan Carlos Mora (assistant)

Maguette Ndiaye (fourth)

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