Preview: Iran vs. Uzbekistan – prediction, team news, lineups

EditorLast Update :
Preview: Iran vs. Uzbekistan – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s World Cup Qualifying – Asia clash between Iran and Uzbekistan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Iran and Uzbekistan will battle it out for top spot in Group E when they face off in Tuesday’s 2026 World Cup qualifier.

Both sides have collected 13 points from their five matches, but Iran have a slight edge due to their goal-difference advantage.

Match preview

© Reuters

Iran have taken the first steps towards reaching a fourth consecutive World Cup after securing their spot in the third stage of qualifying with minimum fuss.

They began their campaign with a win over Hong Kong and a draw against Uzbekistan, before going on to claim back-to-back victories over Turkmenistan.

Iran enjoyed another successful outing in Thursday’s away meeting with Hong Kong thanks to a Mehdi Taremi hat-trick and a Sardar Azmoun strike.

While they may have little to play for, Team Melli will still want to earn the honour of advancing as group winners, knowing that a draw will be enough to secure pole position.

They will fancy their chances of achieving such a result, having avoided in each of their previous 21 home games in World Cup qualifying.

Uzbekistan players pose for a team group photo before the match on March 21, 2024© Reuters

Uzbekistan are one step closer to achieving World Cup qualification for the first time after matching Iran’s points total to ease through to the third stage.

Srecko Katanec‘s side took four points from their first two matches, before winning both of their encounters against Hong Kong.

They went on to record a third consecutive qualifying victory in Thursday’s outing against Turkmenistan, with Husniddin Aliqulov, Oston Urunov and Sherzod Nasrullaev all getting on the scoresheet in a 3-1 win.

Uzbekistan will be targeting another victory in Tuesday’s fixture as they look to leapfrog Iran to claim top spot in Group E.

However, their hopes of claiming all three points will be tempered by the fact they have not beaten Iran since recording a 1-0 victory in November 2012.

Iran World Cup Qualifying – Asia form:

Iran form (all competitions):

Uzbekistan World Cup Qualifying – Asia form:

Uzbekistan form (all competitions):

Team News

Iran's Karim Ansarifard celebrates scoring their first goal with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Ehsan Hajsafi on January 14, 2024© Reuters

Iran defender Hossein Kanaanizadegan is likely to come into the side after serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation.

There is also a possibility that Adana Demirspor left-back Milad Mohammadi will be presented with a starting opportunity

Buoyed from netting a hat-trick, Taremi will look to add to his 48-goal international tally when he lines up against Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan defender Farrukh Sayfiev is set to return to the fold, having served a one-match ban for picking up two yellow cards in qualifying.

Uzbekistan’s all-time top scorer Eldor Shomurodov will have the opportunity to add to the 40 goals he has scored for his country.

Iran possible starting lineup:
Niazmand; Yousefi, Kanaanizadegan, Khalilzadeh, Mohammadi; Ghorbani; Jahanbakhsh, Ghoddos, Ghayedi; Azmoun, Taremi

Uzbekistan possible starting lineup:
Yusupov; Khusanov, Eshmurodov, Ashurmatov; Sayfiev, Khamrobekov, Shukurov, Turgunboev; Masharipov, Urunov, Shomurodov

SM words green background

We say: Iran 2-1 Uzbekistan

With the two teams sitting level on 13 points, we think Tuesday’s contest will prove to be a close-fought affair and that Iran will make full use of home advantage to claim a narrow victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

ID:545554:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect10952:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!