England will face Iran in the first match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup which is overshadowed by off the pitch controversies. The game kicks off at 1.00pm England time at the Khalifa National Stadium, Doha. This is the first ever head-to-head match of the two nations and is going to be a special one in the history of both national teams.
People in Iran have been protesting for human rights and women’s freedom against the regime, and the national team players were expected to express their solidarity to the people. However, their indifference has sparked fury among Iranians, so that the players may feel an unordinary pressure on themselves.
On the other hand, the Three Lions have been among those teams warned by FIFA regarding their intention to have the One Love armband on their captains’ arms. Having been threatened by FIFA, the FA decided to withdraw from their initial state; a decision that has been criticized by the media and fans.
In terms of forms, England don’t have an ideal situation as they haven’t won a match since June. Nevertheless, Gareth Southgate’s record in past two major competitions keeps their hopes alive to have another brilliant tournament. Iran commence the World Cup with Carlos Queiroz once again, despite having qualified with another coach. They have previously shown they would be a tough opponent for contenders like England.
England: Pickford, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, Mount, Shaw, Saka, Kane, Sterling
Iran: Beiranvand, Moharrami, Hajsafi, Mohammadi, Jahanbakhsh, Pouraliganji, Taremi, Cheshmi, Karimi, Hosseini, Nourollahi