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).
16th June v Nigeria (Curitiba)
21st June v Argentina (Belo Horizonte)
25th June v Bosnia and Herzegovina (Salvador)
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.
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.
Queiroz revels in the underdog status but progression from the group will be a huge challenge.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: https://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms