News ID: 215266
Published: 0123 GMT May 18, 2018

Iran to face Uzbekistan in pre-World Cup friendly

Iran to face Uzbekistan in pre-World Cup friendly

Iran will kick off its final phase of preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with a friendly against Asian rival Uzbekistan in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Saturday.

The match will give Carlos Queiroz a chance to gauge his players as the Iran head coach works on his 35-player squad ahead of the World Cup which kicks off on June 14, reported.

Queiroz will have to trim his final squad to 23 players and today's friendly against Uzbekistan and the May 29 tie against Turkey will be the final avenues for the players to prove their selection worth. The final squad has to be named by June 3.

Queiroz revealed his 35-man preliminary squad earlier this week with Dutch Eredivisie top scorer Alireza Jahanbakhsh heading the bill as Iran, Asia's top ranked team, gets set for playing in back-to-back World Cups for the first time in its history.

Steven Beyt-Ashour, who has not appeared for his country since Brazil 2014, also has the opportunity to make the final squad, while U-20 World Cup captain Omid Nour-Afkan was also presented with the chance to prove himself, alongside uncapped Esteghlal teammate Majid Hosseini.

Sardar Azmoun’s inclusion also means the striker is set to face off against Spain in the Kazan Arena, where he plays his club football with Rubin Kazan, after Iran opens its campaign against Morocco on June 15.

Iran will also face European champion Portugal on the final day of Group B fixtures.


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