Iran are the rank outsiders too qualify from a tough-looking Group F - but can Carlos Queiroz's side spring a surprise at the World Cup finals in Brazil?

Goalkeepers: Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig), Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan).

Defenders: Hossein Mahini, Jalal Hosseini, Mehrdad Pouladi (all Persepolis), Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi, Hashem Beikzadeh (both Esteghlal), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft).

Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Haddadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan).

Forwards: Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Tractor Saz, on loan from Persepolis), Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal).

Fixtures

16th June v Nigeria (Curitiba)

21st June v Argentina (Belo Horizonte)

25th June v Bosnia and Herzegovina (Salvador)

Strengths

Experience boss Carlos Queiroz attention to detail proved a success in qualifying and the Portuguese will be hoping to carry on that form. The Iranians are well organised and defensively strong; they will look to frustrate opponents.

Weaknesses

The squad lack top class experience, with only a handful of players plying their trade in the top leagues in Europe. Key Player Ashkan Dejagah. Fulham’s Dejagah has experience in the Premier League and Bundesliga. Queiroz will look to him to make an impact when his team hit their opponents on the counter attack.

Prediction

Queiroz revels in the underdog status but progression from the group will be a huge challenge.

Odds

1500/1

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Internationals