By Farrokh Hesabi

Iran have potential to qualify for 2022 World Cup qualification third round: expert

May 31, 2021 - 15:36

TEHRAN - The Iranian national football team will return to action on June 3 against Hong Kong in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Bahrain. The competition is very vital for the ‘Persian Leopards’ since they need to beat their opponents to book a place in the third round.

Iran will also play Bahrain, Cambodia and Iraq in the qualification.  

Iran head coach Dragan Skocic’s plans have been far from ideal for the upcoming competition. The National Team will step into the tournament without any warm-up match. The team have just started their training camp in Kish Island, from there they will go to Bahrain.

Despite the setbacks, Iranians hope that their team will qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Jalal Cheraghpur, head of the Technical and Education Committee of the Iranian Football Federation, believes that a lack of friendly matches would not be a problem for the national team if there will be a wise selection of the squad.

“There is no doubt that for entering a tournament, you need to have warm-up matches. It is undeniable. The preparation games make clear the technical and tactical patterns that a coach wants his players to perform,” Cheraghpur said.

“However, for a team that most of their players have played along with each other for many years, it will not be a huge problem to start without friendly matches, although I emphasize that the conditions are far from ideal.

“For example, in the defense line, we have Morteza Pouraliganji and Majid Hosseini, who have been the center-backs of the national team for many years and have played in big tournaments like the World Cup and AFC Asian Cup. Also, Hossein Kanaanizadegan and Shoja Khalilzadeh are the other pair that have been teammates in Persepolis and had formed the best defensive line in the Iranian league.

“In the midfield and also in the attacking line, the situation is the same. I think the national team own players that have more than 75 percent of mutual understanding despite not playing along with each other for several months.

“The most important principle that the national team head coach must consider is that he must avoid using players who play together for the first time as much as possible. In fact, he must think of pairs or even triples of players for each line instead of thinking and selecting one by one. The players arrived highly motivated and excited for what’s to come. So, we all hope the best for our national team,” he added.

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