Monday 12 Jun

Iran vs Uzbekistan Match Preview

12 Jun 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qualification, AFC, Round 3, Gr. A
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qualification, AFC, Round 3, Gr. A

Iran

  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

vs

Kick-off
16:45 GMT
12 June 2017

Uzbekistan

  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
16:45 GMT 12 June 2017

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup just under a year away in Russia, there is still lots of qualifiers to be played to see which sides will be represented as they play for the biggest prize in world football. In this game, Uzbekistan make the trip to Iran as both sides look to qualify from Asian qualifying Group A. Iran are currently top of the group after 7 games with 17 points while their opponents are sitting in 3rd place with 12 points, just one point off second place, who will earn automatic qualification to next summer’s tournament.

STATS

  • Iran have been in brilliant form during qualifying and have only dropped 4 points from the 7 games as they have drawn on two occasions. Of their 5 wins so far, they have won 4 of the games by a score line of 1-0. They faced Montenegro in a friendly just over a week ago and won the game 2-1 as they travelled to Europe.
  • Uzbekistan have been decent in qualifying so far and are currently in a position where they would qualify for a play-off place, which would be great for such a small country. They have won 4 of their 7 qualifiers and managed to beat Thailand 2-0 in their last match which was an international friendly.
  • Sardar Azmoun has been in terrific form for Iran so far in qualifying as he has managed 8 goals through the whole stage, making him his country’s top goalscorer. He’ll be hoping to add to this against Uzbekistan.
  • Sardor Rashidov is Uzbekistan’s top scorer so far with 5 goals and his goals have been vital in their push for a qualification place as they have won 3 of their 4 games by a one-goal margin.

HEAD TO HEAD

Uzbekistan have only beaten Iran on one occasion and that came back in qualification for the 2014 World Cup. Iran have won 4 of the 6 meetings between the two with a goalless in a friendly in 2009. The game has been won 1-0 on each of the last 4 occasions and the last time both teams scored was in the 2007 Asian Cup.

IRAN NEWS

Iran will be desperate to extend their seven-game unbeaten run in qualifying for next year’s World Cup as they are yet to concede a single goal so far. They will be relying on the attacking presence of Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi to win them the game with their good form in front of goal. They’ll want to keep their strong defensive in this one.

Latest matches: Iran

04.06.2017 Int. Montenegro Iran 1:2 W
28.03.2017 Worl Iran China 1:0 W
23.03.2017 Worl Qatar Iran 0:1 W
18.03.2017 Int. Iran Iraq 0:1 L
15.11.2016 Worl Syrian Arab Republic Iran 0:0 D

UZBEKISTAN NEWS

A shock win for Uzbekistan in this game could see them move into 2nd place in the group which would mean they have control over whether they qualify for the World Cup with two games remaining after this one. They will have to be the first side in this qualifying group to unlock the Iranian defence if they want to come away with all 3 points.

Latest matches: Uzbekistan

06.06.2017 Int. Uzbekistan Thailand 2:0 W
28.03.2017 Worl Uzbekistan Qatar 1:0 W
23.03.2017 Worl Syrian Arab Republic Uzbekistan 1:0 L
23.01.2017 Int. Uzbekistan Georgia 2:2 D
15.11.2016 Worl South Korea Uzbekistan 2:1 L

SUMMARY

With home advantage as well as a better run of form going into the match, Iran will be favourites for victory but Uzbekistan have been the surprise package of this qualifying campaign and might pull off another big shock. However, whoever does win won’t be expected to score a lot of goals as both sides have only scored 6 goals in their 7 games. The match could go either way with a goalless draw being a big possibility.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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