Wales plays Iran on Friday and the second round of their Group B group stage matches at the 2022 World Cup. Wales battled with the United States to a 1-1 draw in the opening match. Wales gave up a first-half goal to the US but Gareth Bale scored on a penalty late in the match to salvage a point. Bale has now scored 41 goals in 109 caps for Wales and only teammate Chris Gunter has played in as many for Wales.
Ethan Ampadu injured an ankle in the opening match against the United States and could miss and if so Joe Morrell will step in, while Joe Allen has returned from injury and could be a starter on Friday. Daniel James did not play well on opening night against the U.S. but should remain. However, the squad revolves around the leadership of Bale and the veteran will carry them through to a victory in this matchup.
Iran was embarrassed by England in their first match and did not look anything like the side that previous to the start of the World Cup earned a victory over Uruguay and a draw against Senegal. Although beaten badly, Iran was able to score a pair of goals as Mehdi Taremi had a brace with both of Iran’s and his talent on attack must be monitored by Wales from the start.
Sardar Azamoud played well for Iran, coming in as a substitute after an injury. Iran will have to make a change in goal after Alireza Beiranvand suffered a head injury versus England and will miss the match, with Hossein Hosseini taking his place. Three changes were made during the halftime break for Iran last time out and Ali Gholizadeh, who assisted in the first goal scored by Taremi, should be a starter Friday.