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Iran: Get New Cleats, Jerks

Discussion in '2018 World Cup' started by PedroSpecialK, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Team Melli has been handsomely rewarded for being the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup many times over:
    • Being drawn into Group B alongside Spain, Portugal, and Morocco - a veritable the Group of Death
    • Players not being paid for reaching the World Cup due to sanctions in consecutive tournaments (a great read overall on Queiroz)
    • Having Nike pull their cleat sponsorshop less than 100 hours prior to their first match, citing sanctions that went into effect last month

    Nevertheless, the squad will buy some off-the-rack Adidas cleats and stand in buckets of warm water to mold them to their feet ahead of the first match on Friday, 11 AM EST in St. Petersburg against the most talented team from Africa: Morocco.

    With Ashkan Dejagah struggling for fitness - I mean who could have guessed, with all of one match at Nottingham Forest under his belt in 2018 - it is looking like the starting lineup will be a 4-3-3

    GK: Alireza Beiranvand - Persepolis (Piece on his ascent to Team Melli in The Guardian)

    RB: Ramin Rezaeian - Oostende
    CB: Rouzbeh Cheshmi - Esteghlal
    CB: Morteza Pouraliganji - Al-Sadd
    LB: Milad Mohammadi - Akhmat Grozny

    CDM: Omid Ebrahimi - Esteghlal
    CDM: Ehsan Hajsafi - Olympiacos
    CM: Masoud Shojaei - AEK Athens

    RW: Alireza Jahanbakhsh - AZ Alkmaar
    ST: Sardar Azmoun - Rubin Kazan
    LW: Mehdi Taremi - Al-Gharafa

    Some thoughts on the lineup:

    • Queiroz seems to love Cheshmi at CB despite some suspect performances in recent qualifiers and friendlies. If one of the CBs doesn't make that lineup, the replacement would be Peiman Montazeri (Esteghlal)
    • Alternative lineup would potentially be 4-1-4-1 with Ebrahimi at CDM and Ansarifard in midfield behind Azmoun
    • If Ashkan can make the bench, expect him to spell Masoud later in the match
    • It's a tossup at LW between Taremi and Saman Ghoddos, capped this past qualifying season for Iran over his native Sweden. Ghoddos may get the nod as a more natural winger
    • Stronger bench than usual for Iran, with quality options off the bench including Karim Ansarifard, Saeid Ezatolahi, and Mehdi Torabi in midfield
    • Reza Ghoochannejhad is somehow 30 already, and has carved out a nice niche for himself in the Netherlands with SC Heerenveen, but hasn't brought it at the national team level recently

    Referee for match day 1 will be one of the few decent refs in FIFA's employ, Cuneyt Cakir.

    I will be looking for a chelo kabobi in San Francisco that's open at 8 AM to watch the likely 2-0 defeat.
  2. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

    That cleat fiasco is fucking criminal.
  3. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

    Iran can beat Morocco. Morocco simply isn't that good a team, outside of Benatia. I'm not even sure they're the best team from Africa; CAF qualifying is chaos. They were in Pot 3 for the final group draw, for goodness sakes - put them in a group against Senegal, Tunisia and a Salah-equipped Egypt and I bet they finish last. They qualified on the back of 3 scoreless draws and two home blowouts, not all that differently from the defense-first approach that qualified Iran.

    Whether Iran can steal the point that would be necessary against the Iberian teams, I think that's a longer shot of course, but I wouldn't put a 1-1 draw past them entirely. They're not Australia.
  4. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

    This is where I’m at. Iran has a path to the 2nd round. Beat Morocco and look for a non-draw result in the Portugal-Spain match. Quieroz’s knowledge of the Portuguese and Spanish rosters doesn’t hurt either. But I don’t think it will show up in their tactics. They will play to their defensive strength and try to hook or crook their way out of the group. Anything less than a victory vs Morocco will be a disaster.
  5. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Morocco has a lot more quality in midfield than folks give them credit for IMO. El Ahmadi, Boussoufa, Belhanda, and Ziyech are a solid core. Harit should be an impact sub in a more attacking role but Morocco has minimal talent there otherwise.

    I worry about Shojaei’s legs and the unpredictability of Cheshmi - if anyone can claw it out from this position it’s Queiroz but I’m not getting my hopes up in this group.
  6. AMcGhie

    AMcGhie The Robinson Canoe of RMPS SoSH Member

    I really wish all sanctions excepted competitions for sport. Things like the world cup are healthy competition between nations that should be supported, not suppressed as a path to peace.

    I'm also sorry because at that hour you're going to be completely out of luck for anything but tacos or lo main. SF has 24/7 Hispanic and Asian foods, and there are certainly good restaurants representing almost every place on the globe, but not ones that are open at that hour.
  7. cgori

    cgori Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Generally this is correct, morning kebabs will be pretty tricky. This is the best summary of your world cup options that I found:


    (I watched a whole day of March madness at SF athletic club, it was a decent option for a sports bar, with good food.)
  8. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Nice, thanks guys - I’m actually staying w my sister in Palo Alto so venturing into SF proper is less likely.

    Luckily it sounds like the Old Pro in PA is open early tomorrow AM
  9. Spacemans Bong

    Spacemans Bong chapeau rose SoSH Member

    There’s an Iranian place in Belmont called Shalizaar. I have a feeling they won’t open early, but it might be worth giving them a shout since they could know what Iranian place will.
  10. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

    I bet this guy will have the game on - and would be a hell of a companion to watch a match with.
  11. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Good look - Shalizaar is the go-to spot when we're out here. I'll give them a call tonight

    Well played, I'll admit I started cackling when I hovered over the link
  12. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Well shit. Rouzbeh Cheshmi appears to be out for the WC after picking up an injury in training

    I expect Montazeri to take his place

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