2022 WCQ: Iran aims to extend unbeaten streak against UAE

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Tasnim – DUBAI, Iran attempts to extend its seven-match unbeaten streak on Thursday when it faces the UAE in the 2022 World Cup qualification.

Bert van Marwijk’s side will also be eager to make the most of the two home games in the next five days, with Iraq to visit Dubai next Tuesday.

Two wins from those matches would take the United Arab Emirates considerably closer to its first FIFA World Cup since its solitary 1990 appearance, but a pair of defeats has the potential to derail its campaign.

Dragan Skocic’s team is going to extend its seven-match unbeaten run.

Mehdi Taremi arrives in Dubai fresh from becoming the first player from his country to score against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League, while Sardar Azmoun – suspended for last month’s win over Syria – has scored a goal every 120 minutes of playing time for Russian champions Zenit this season.

With AEK Athens striker Karim Ansarifard and Belgium-based Kaveh Rezaei also in the squad, Team Melli Skocic has no shortage of options, but it was the Iranian defense which shone brightest in last month’s successes against Syria and Iraq.

There were two clean sheets recorded, and only two saves required, from goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, with an Omar Khribin miss the only clear cut chance created by either Syria or Iraq in 180 minutes of football, the-afc.com reported.

Team Melli also has an outstanding record against the UAE, losing only once in 16 prior meetings between the two sides, and inflicting AFC Asian Cup defeats in both 2011 and 2015.

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