Wales v Iran: World Cup 2022 live | World Cup 2022

Key events

Essential reading for the competition

The teams completely

Wales (possibly 5-3-1-1) Hennessy; Roberts, Mepham, Rodon, Davies, N Williams; Ramsey, Ampadu, Wilson; Baal; Moore.
Replacements: Ward, Davies, Gunter, Allen, Johnson, Morrell, Lockyer, J Williams, Harris, James, Thomas, Levitt, Cabango, Colwill, Smith.

Iran (possibly 4-4-2) H Hosseini; Rezaeian, Pouraliganji, M. Hosseini, Mohammadi; Gholizadeh, Ezatolahi, Nourolahi, Hajisafi; Azmoun, Taremi.
Substitutes: Niazmand, Abedzadeh, Moharrami, Khalilzadeh, Kanaanizadegan, Cheshmi, Jalali, Amiri, Ghoddos, Torabi, Karimi, Ansarifard, Jahanbakhsh.

Referee Mario Alberto Escobar plays (Guatemala)

Team news Iran: Azmoun returns

Carlos Queiroz has substituted five from the team that lost 6-2 to England on Monday. Goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, who suffered a concussion in that game and was briefly allowed through despite not knowing his name, date of birth, nationality or even the last three digits on the back of the card, will be replaced in goal by Hossein Hosseini.

The other changes? Ramin Rezaeian, Ali Gholizadeh, Saeid Ezatolahi and Sardar Azmoun replace Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ali Karimi, Roozbeh Cheshmi and Milad Moharrami.

That should mean a change of system, from 5-4-1 to what the traditionalists call a four-man-on-four. Azmoun, who scored 41 goals in 66 appearances for his country, joins Mehdi Taremi (32 in 62) in attack.

Iran (possibly 4-4-2) H Hosseini; Rezaeian, Pouraliganji, M. Hosseini, Mohammadi; Gholizadeh, Ezatolahi, Nourolahi, Hajisafi; Azmoun, Taremi.

Wales team news: Moore starts, Allen on the bench

Rob Page makes a clear change from the team that started against the USA on Monday: Kieffer Moore replaces Dan James at the front.

Joe Allen, who has not played since mid-September due to a hamstring injury, is on the bench.

Preamble

Who’s up for another ride on the emotional rollercoaster? I’m afraid if you’re Welsh or Iranian you don’t have much of a choice. For different reasons and in different ways, both countries ran into each other on Monday. Today will be no different.

Let’s start with football. Iran realistically needs at least a draw to have a chance of making the last 16; Wales could theoretically lose today and still go through. But even in the unpredictable game of snakes and ladders that is the World Cup group stage, that shouldn’t be encouraged.

Their goal is simple: a first World Cup win since Terry Medwin’s goal to beat Hungary in a play-off on June 17, 1958, ideally with yet another who-writes-the-scripts moment from Gareth-Bale. Qualification be able to come down to goal difference, but it would be overconfident to think of that at this stage. Iran is a better side than their 6-2 defeat to England suggested.

But they also have other things on their mind. Even during this most political World Cup, Iran’s situation is striking. I won’t be commenting editorially here, and not just because I’m subconsciously terrified of accidentally saying the wrong thing and being canceled before a ball is kicked. It’s a nuanced situation that’s hard to fully understand if you haven’t followed it closely from the start.

The players chose not to sing the national anthem before England’s match on Monday, their latest gesture in support of those protesting the shock death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September. There are fears of reprisals once the tournament is over, but there is also some confusion over whether local celebrations of that defeat on Monday were aimed at the state, the team (for ‘insulting’ the national anthem) or both.

We’ll get to that when the players line up for the anthems. Got to run off and write some failed zingers for our rebranded football daily email, Football Daily – sign up! – but I’ll be back with team news about an hour before kick-off.

kick off 10am GMT, 1pm at Ahmad bin Ali stadium.

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