Our prediction for this match:
Following two boring goalless draws with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Russia will look to get back on course when they face Iran in yet another friendly on Thursday. Russia have been banned from qualifying for EURO 2024 following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, and, as a result, head coach Valeri Karpin will use upcoming warm-up games to test as many players as possible. The 54-year-old tactician will count on three attackers for the Iran game: Sobolev, Komlichenko, and Tyukavin.
The Asian side, on the other hand, continue to rely on Porto attacker Mehdi Taremi, with both Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh making the cut as well. Since the Russia boss is likely to mix the squad, we believe that there is a big value in betting on Iran. In their last meeting in a friendly, six years ago, the two national teams played out a 1-1 draw.
Highlighted Player (Alireza Jahanbakhsh):
Born in Jirandeh, Iran on August 11 1990, Alireza Jahanbakhsh is a footballer who plays for AZ Alkmaar in Holland. Before AZ, Jahanbakhsh played for NEC in the Eredivisie, but he began his youth career at Payam Alborz Qazvin. Speaking of his senior debut, he made it with Damash Tehran in the 2010/2011 season.
In 2011 he moved to fellow Iranian club Damash Gilan and it has to be noted that he scored 10 goals in 44 appearances in the league for the club. The AZ Alkmaar winger, who is used as an attacking midfielder as well, scored 21 goals in 33 appearances in the Eredivisie in the 2017/2018 season. Speaking of his international career, Alireza JahanBakhsh scored two goals for Iran on the road to Russia and he will represent his homeland at the 2018 FIFA world cup finals.
Due to his style of play, Jahanbakhsh has always been compared to legendary Iranian footballer Mehdi Mahdavikia.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992.
Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides.
The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.