2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Syria vs Iran [Preview]

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Sportskeeda – AMMAN, It’s the clash of top versus bottom in Group A of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as Iran faces Syria at the King Abdullah II Stadium in neutral Jordan.

With four wins and a draw from five games, Team Melli is cruising at the top of the pile with 13 points, two clear of South Korea.

They’re also the most prolific in the group with eight goals, including two stoppage-time strikes against Lebanon on Thursday.

Dragan Skocic’s side was headed towards their first qualifying defeat but two goals from Sardar Azmoun and Ahmad Nourollahi in the 91st and 95th minutes secured all three points for the visitors.

Syria, meanwhile, is bottom of Group A with only two points from five games, having failed to win any of their games so far.

They’re not mathematically out of the race yet but another setback here would deal their progression hopes a killer-blow.

Head-To-Head

Iran have only ever lost one game to Syria in their previous 29 clashes, winning 17.

That defeat came way back in 1973 in a World Cup qualifier.

In their reverse fixture in September, Iran edged Syria 1-0 in Tehran.

Syria Form Guide (all competitions): L-D-L-L-D

Iran Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-D-W

Team News

Syria

The Qasioun Eagles held neighbors Iraq in their last game and manager Nizar Mahrous may stick with the same lineup for this game.

Omar Khirbin, the current squad’s top-scorer with 20 goals, will earn his 50th cap and join forces again with Omar Al Somah, who was on target against Iraq.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Iran

Team Melli left it late against Lebanon on Thursday but Dragan Skocic isn’t likely to ring too many changes.

Iranian veteran Karim Ansarifard, who came off the bench in the said game, might come into the starting XI for his 90th international cap, with Saman Ghoddos returning to the bench.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Predicted XI

Syria (4-4-1-1): Ibrahim Alma; Muayad Al Khouli, Thaer Krouma, Omar Midani, Khaled Kurdaghli; Fahd Youssef, Ahmed Ashkar, Mohammad Anz, Mahmoud Al-Mawas; Omar Kharbin; Omar Al Somah.

Iran (4-2-3-1): Alireza Beiranvand; Sadegh Moharrami, Shojae Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Vahid Amiri; Ahmad Nourollahi, Saeid Ezatolahi; Ali Gholizadeh, Karim Ansarifard, Alireza Jahanbakhsh; Sardar Azmoun.

Prediction

Syria have a very good squad on paper but they have flattered to deceive in these qualifiers. Their fourth-round finish during the 2018 qualifiers now looks like a distant memory.

Iran, meanwhile, have played to their strengths and look comfortable at the top of their group.

Barring a collapse, Team Melli should cruise to another victory here.

Prediction: Syria 1-2 Iran


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