Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Asian Cup clash between Iran and Syria, including predictions, team news and possible teams.
Making their first appearance in the knockout phase of Asia Cup, Syria they will meet Iran in the 16th match on Wednesday at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.
Team Melli finished top of Group C, winning 2-1 against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the third day of the match, while the Syrians won as one of the best third-place teams, defeating India 1-0 in their previous match.
A game show
For the eighth consecutive time in the Asian Cup, Iran have qualified for the knockout stage, extending their unbeaten run to 23 matches.
This is the third time in the last four Asian tournaments that the Iranians have finished the group stage with a 100% record, as they are now unbeaten in 16 consecutive games in all competitions.
Iran has not defeated an Asian opponent in almost two years, and South Korea became the last to defeat them in a competitive game in the March 2022 World Cup (2-0).
Despite their impressive performance in the group stage of the tournament, which has not always translated into good results in single-elimination matches, Iran have progressed beyond their opening Asian Cup campaign just once in their last four attempts.
Since its exit from the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 loss against the USA, Team Melli has only conceded the opening goal in three matches, coming away with a positive result each time.
On the floor Amir GhalenoeiIran have won each of their matches since taking over after being kicked out of the 2022 World Cup.
Syria’s tenacity on matchday three finally paid off, as they scored the winning goal with less than 15 minutes to go, keeping their Asian Cup hopes alive.
In the first stage, Hector CuperThe ‘s men were good defensively, scoring one goal in three games, Syria’s fewest in the tournament.
Syria have not played in a tournament since they won the 2012 West Asian Football Federation Championship in 2012.
They have shown their best form since the 5-0 defeat by Japan last November, scoring a goal or less in four of their previous five games, and losing just once during that time (1-0 against Australia).
The Syrians have only lost once since the start of 2023 when they found the net, a 2-1 loss against Kuwait last October.
You have to go back to May 1973 to find the only time Syria won against Iran (1-0), when it went scoreless in four consecutive meetings against Team Melli.
Iran Asian Cup Form:
Iran form (all competitions):
Syrian Football Cup Form:
Syria form (all competitions):
Sadegh Moharrami will be out for the rest of the tournament after the Iranian defender tore his ACL in their win over the UAE and has been replaced by Ramin Rezaeian.
Shojae Khalilzadeh and Ali Gholizadeh was back in the starting XI for Iran on Tuesday after both missed their two-day game due to knocks, while the captain. Ehsan Hajsafi he picked up his 140th hat trick, which put him nine on the all-time record set by Javad Nekounam.
Mehdi Taremi they found the ropes in their three-game winning streak, drawing even Mehdi Ghayedi for the most on the Iranian team in this competition (two).
Syria only had two new faces that did not appear on the second day of the match that saw a part in their final groups, and Alaa Al Dali and Muhammad Anez they are coming as substitutes against India instead of Ammar Ramadan and Mahmoud Al-Aswad.
Fahd Yusuf and eight caps out of 50, Amro Jenyat they need five more appearances to reach the mark Moayad Ajan can reach 70 in this process.
Omar Khribin instead Paul Sabbag in the second half of the three matches, scoring the winning goal, his 22nd with the national team, while Ahmad Madania he only stopped once to pick up a piece of white paper.
Iran is expected to start:
Beiranvand; Rezaeian, Kanaanizadegan, Hosseini, Hajsafi; Ghoddos, Cheshmi; Mohebi, Tarem, Gaide; Ansarifard
How to start Syria:
Dania; Weiss, Ousou, Krouma, Ajan; Al Aswad, Elias, Ham, Anez; Hesar, Sabbath
We say: Iran 2-0 Syria
Syria has shown that it can compete with the best sides in the region, but we believe that Iran will be too much for them to handle, due to their skills and ability to overcome these challenges.
For detailed analysis of possible results, scores and other details of this match please click here.