This is how Iran plays: Tactical system and possible eleven for the Qatar WC 2022

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ESPN Colombia – MEDELLIN, During the eight years of the Carlos Queiroz cycle, between 2011 and 2019, the Iranian National Team forged a very recognizable identity. 

The Portuguese coach favored defensive solidity and formed a team that, for example, knew how to complicate things for the likes of Argentina, Spain, and Portugal in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. Today, Croatian manager Dragan Skočić has a slightly different idea.

Beyond the departure of the Portuguese coach, there is already a culture formed in the Iranian team. No one doubts that they will be a tough opponent for anyone, that was etched in fire. However, the arrival of a technician with other expectations caused a change of air that could be beneficial. Another attacking intensity has been added to the already consistent defensive structure. Now will be the time to prove it outside of Asia and against more powerful rivals.

Skočić arrived in 2020 and has won 15 of the 18 games he has coached, although he has lost two of the last three. He always used a line of four in defense, but then he knew how to play with a double pivot and also with a 4-4-2. In this year’s games, he came out with a 4-1-4-1 which seems to be his chosen scheme. The pivot marks the balance, while the interiors have more freedom and the ends are attack weapons.

Amir Abedzadeh is the starting goalkeeper. He has European experience (he plays for second-division Spanish club Ponferradina) and is the clear defender of the goal. In the defensive line, Majid Hosseini and Hossein Kanaanizadegan have been the starters at the back in recent games, although Shoja Khalizadeh and Omid Noorafkan are alternatives who have added good minutes. They all play in Asian clubs except for Hosseini who features for Turkish side Kayserispor. Captain Ehsan Hajsafi of Greece’s AEK Athens plays on the left and Dinamo Zagreb’s Sadegh Moharrami on the right.

Saeid Ezatolahi was the starting midfielder in the 4-1-4-1 scheme used during 2022. Ahead of him, Ahmad Nourollahi and Ali Gholizadeh are the midfielders, with Vahid Amiri and Saman Ghoddos as alternatives. Alireza Jahanbakhsh, one of the team’s stars and a footballer with extensive experience in European football, is the usual right winger, while Porto FC’s Mehdi Taremi has the versatility to play on the left, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Sardar Azmoun in the center of the attack. The latter form the team’s offensive duo.

The potential World Cup eleven may be: Amir Abedzadeh; Sadegh Moharrami, Majid Hosseini, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Ehsan Hajsafi; Saeid Ezatolahi; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ahmad Nourollahi, Ali Gholizadeh, Mehdi Tarem; Sardar Azmoun.


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