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Wales vs Iran predictions: Taremi's tricks could tame Dragons
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Simon Barlow
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Mehdi Taremi's brace against England will give him the confidence to help Iran cause Wales problems on Friday
Mehdi Taremi's brace against England will give him the confidence to help Iran cause Wales problems on Friday

- Wales have won just one of their last nine matches 
- Mehdi Taremi has scored seven goals in his last nine appearances for Iran 
- Recommended Bets: 
- Back Mehdi Taremi to score
- Back Iran to Win or Draw (Double Chance)

Iran have work to do to turn their situation around and will need to make something happen when they take on Group B rivals Wales in Friday's early World Cup game at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

Persian Leopards coach Carlos Queiroz urged his team to learn from the 6-2 defeat against England, although there were few signs that a drubbing was on the cards before the unfortunate early clash of heads that dazed goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Inevitably, Gareth Bale was the hero for Wales as they stormed back to claim a 1-1 draw with the USA, although the introduction of Kieffer Moore off the bench was probably the biggest factor in their resurgence.

The Dragons, who are one place higher than Iran in the FIFA rankings, can take a significant stride towards qualifying for the knockout stages if they can repeat their second-half showing from Monday's game.

Team news

Joe Allen has taken a full part in training as he bids to play a part in Wales' first World Cup finals campaign in 64 years.

The Swansea midfielder, who has been out with a hamstring injury since September, joined the rest of the squad for Wednesday's session.

But it would be a big risk to start him on Friday and Robert Page may elect to use his qualities as a substitute to come on and close out the game.

Moore, who has scored three goals in his three most recent Premier League appearances, is likely to get the nod up front after his impact after half-time on Monday.

Daniel James could be the unlucky forward to make way for the Bournemouth targetman in the only change to Wales' starting XI.

Iran's main injury worry is over goalkeeper Beiranvand, who was replaced by Seyed Hossein Hosseini after just 20 minutes on Monday.

He suffered a broken nose and suspected concussion in a clash with centre-back Majid Hosseini, who was able to carry on and finish the game.

Sardar Azmoun could earn a spot in the starting line-up after coming off the bench against England.

The stats

Kieffer Moore made a big difference in Wales' first game and looks set to start on Friday
Kieffer Moore made a big difference in Wales' first game and looks set to start on Friday

Four of Wales' six games at the World Cup have ended all square, with no side having a higher ratio (67%) of their games finishing level in the competition's history.

In scoring his second-half penalty against the USA, Gareth Bale became the fourth Welshman to score at a World Cup finals tournament after John Charles, Ivor Allchurch and Terry Medwin.

Moore was involved in more shots (four) against the USA than any other Wales player and also had at least two more touches in the opposition box than any teammate.

Taremi became the first Iran player to score multiple goals at a World Cup with his brace against England, and also the first player from an Asian country to net twice in a single game in the competition.

Since moving to play his club football in Europe, Taremi has scored 24 goals and missed just three of his penalties.

Prediction

Iran fell apart in their opening game after losing their first-choice keeper to injury, but there were some positives to come out of the game which they can turn into a solid showing on Friday.

Team Melli were blown away by the Three Lions' dynamic midfield and ambitious full-backs, but Wales play one less man in midfield and, although their wing-backs will attempt to get forward, Connor Roberts and Neco Williams attempted just three crosses apiece against the US.

The Welsh engine room would benefit from the return of Joe Allen, but he may not be ready to complete 90 minutes here and Page may not select him anyway.

The Dragons' boss picked the wrong team against the States and, although he rescued a decent result by rectifying it, another error here could be very costly.

Wales have won just one of their last nine matches and Iran have enough quality in forward areas to be deserving of support in the Double Chance market at 8/11 with LiveScore Bet to win or tie the game at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

Taremi's sharpness could be a decisive factor and, together with an ability to win penalties and free-kicks around the box, make him an appealing option to score in a second consecutive Group B game at LiveScore Bet's anytime goalscorer odds of 14/5.

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WalesIranWorld CupMehdi TaremiGareth Bale
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