Stubborn Iran to stick to game plan
Wales take on Iran in a must-win game for Rob Page’s side if they are going to progress from Group B.
The Dragons rescued a point in their opening game against the USA, with Kieffer Moore turning the game on its head after being introduced from the bench at half time in the place of Dan James.
Gareth Bale confidently stuck away the spot kick to deny the States an opening game victory.
Iran were humbled to a 6-2 scoreline by England, but there were some small positives to take for Carlos Queiroz.
Sardar Azmoun coming off the bench would have given supporters hope that results can improve in the competition.
The Iran game plan was working very well against England, before an inch-perfect cross from Luke Shaw was expertly finished by Jude Bellingham to break the deadlock in the 35th minute.
Had they got to half time it may well have been a very different match.
The Three Lions were very clinical and profited from Iran breaking out of their shape and trying to get back into the game.
That will not be the case against Wales, who put in a horrible first half performance against the USA.
They will likely take a more direct approach against Iran, with Moore starting and Gareth Bale playing off of the Bournemouth man, alongside the likes of Harry Wilson, and probably James and Brennan Johnson at some point.
Queiroz can prepare for that game plan and his managerial CV trumps that of Rob Page by an absolute mile.
Moments of quality and ruthlessness from England made light work of Iran, it was not necessarily all down to the outsiders’ inferiority.
Aaron Ramsey’s performance improved as the opening game went on, but on the whole, he looks like a shadow of the player that has played such a key role for the Dragons in recent tournaments.
I am enticed by unders for this match.
That will not be a consistent approach in the tournament due to the amount of added time, but Iran could be stubborn enough to keep the goals down.
Wales have scored in nine of ten.
Wales have conceded in nine of ten.
Wales have seen both teams score in eight of ten.
Wales have seen over 2.5 goals in five of ten.
Iran have scored in eight of ten.
Iran have conceded in five of ten.
Iran have seen both teams score in three of ten.
Iran have seen over 2.5 goals in two of ten.