PREVIEW: Morocco vs Iran - Herve Renard going for the Kill Featured
15 Jun

PREVIEW: Morocco vs Iran - Herve Renard going for the Kill

Morocco and Iran will open their mundial campaign on Friday at the Krestovsky Stadium in Russia.
 
The match, which is the first game to be played  in group B will be the first time the two teams have ever met in an official competition.
 
Just fresh from losing the World cup 2026 bid to the US, the North African side is hoping to clinch all three points in St Petersburg in a group that has both former European Champions, Portugal and Spain.
 
Iran went unbeaten in the qualifying series with the Asian side grabbing 12 wins, 6 draws and notching 14 clean sheets. 
 
One key player to look out for is Sardar Azmoun, the forward has 23 goals in 31 appearances for his nation. 
 
Alireza Jahanbaksh is expected to lead Iran as he scored 21 goals for AZ Alkmaar this past season and emerging as the top scorer in the Dutch Eredevise.
 
Herve Renard's men looks favorite,reason being that the Atlas lions boast of a high defensive line with highly rated Mehdi Benatia leading the charge. 
 
Striker Ayoub El Kaabi is expected to be explosive tomorrow ,the  24 year old has scored 10 goals in 8 caps for the Moroccans.
 
Both teams are huge underdogs taking into play the pedigree of Spain and Portugal but either one of these teams could pull a surprise in that very group.
 
Morocco is currently 41st in the latest FIFA world rankings, and are making their fifth appearance in the World Cup along with their opponent Iran. Iran sit four places ahead of Morocco and won all their matches prior to the tournament.
 
Probable Iran XI: Beiranvand; Mohammadi, Cheshmi, Khanzadeh, Rezaeian; Shojaei, Hajsafi; Taremi, Ansarifard, Jahanbakhsh; Azmoun
 
Probable Morocco XI: Munir; Hakimi, Benatia, Saiss, Dirar; El Ahmadi; Ziyech, Boussoufa, Belhanda, N Amrabat; El-Kaabi
 
By: Ishaak Hussein Shakino
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