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Wales vs Iran Stats Pack

WC Stats Pack

Wales managed to scrape a draw against the USA in their opener thanks to a Gareth Bale penalty. Who else? They now take on a humbled Iran side who conceded 6 to Wales’ neighbours. Hope you’re awake and ready for this 10am kick-off.

Below are all the stats from both teams’ qualifying campaigns combined with their first runout in the World Cup. Using the data and my Stats Pack Guide you should be able to scour a winner.

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starting Lineups

Wales will likely lineup in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation. The big question is whether target man forward Kieffer Moore might come into the team after impressing in the second half vs the USA. If he plays, then Dan James or Harry Wilson might make way. In midfield, Ethan Ampadu picked up an ankle injury vs the USA and is doubtful. Joe Morrell could replace him if he isn’t deemed fit enough. 

Wales Stats Pack MD2

Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand will likely miss this match due to being in concussion protocol and suffering a broken nose vs England. Hossein Hosseini should come into the team to start in between the sticks. Iran will likely not change their 5-3-2 formation which could switch to a 5-4-1 with Taremi upfront on his own. Sardar Azmoun could play in attack for Iran after recent injury problems. He could only play 13 mins as a substitute vs England. 

Iran Stats Pack MD2 1

Team stats

Wales average 1.64 goals per 90 mins which is slightly better than their xG figure of 1.49. They have also overachieved their xGA numbers of 1.28 per match by only conceding an average of 1 goal per 90 mins. Wales are quite a low scoring corner team, only averaging 3.91 per match as opposed to 4.27 against. They have average numbers for both shots for (12.27) and against (10.91) per 90 mins. Their SOT rate of 4.64 is not bad and over 40% success compared to overall shots. In disciplinary terms they are also very much on the average side, drawing 2.36 cards against and only 1.91 cards for. 

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Iran average 2.68 goals per game which is an impressive number, even if those figures are inflated by a soft Asian qualifying section. They have only conceded 0.73 goals per 90 mins and their xGA of 1.05 correlates quite closely to that mark. They fire in 15.58 shots per match, which is quite high and with nearly 50% on target at a 7.17 rate. Defensively, they have generally been secure, only averaging 1.79 SOT against per match, although England did just score 6 times past their backline. Iran concede a very low number of corners, just 2.21 per 90 mins and also draw a low number of cards at just 1.48.

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Player shots and shots on target

Gareth Bale is the obvious standout for Wales shots, averaging 3.42 per 90 mins. He will be on most free kicks, penalties and is their clear star player. Only 1.23 of his shots were on target though which is a slightly disappointing rate. Both Kieffer Moore and Brennan Johnson average over 2.50 shots per 90 mins, and Johnson has an impressive SOT ratio of 1.88. He is likely to come on as a substitute so could be one to watch in-running. Dan James has a poor 0.50 SOT per 90 mins and only fires in 1.29 shots, so perhaps isn’t one to consider in this market.

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Mehdi Taremi scored twice for Iran vs England but only averages 1.62 shots per 90 mins. 0.93 of those were on target, so he is usually good to at least test the opposition goalkeeper with his attempts. Former Brighton player Alireza Jahanbakhsh averages the most shots per match for Iran (2.61) and converts nearly half of those on target at a 1.26 rate. Nobody else in the Iranian ranks particularly stands out for shots or shots on target.

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Player goals and assists

Gareth Bale once again takes centre stage for Wales in this department, weighing in with 7 goals and 3 assists from just 8 starts. Aaron Ramsey has three goals from 7 appearances, whilst Harry Wilson has three assists. The often infuriating Dan James only has 2 goals and 2 assists from 11 starts and can be very hit or miss in terms of end product.

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Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun dominate both the goal scoring and assist charts for Iran. Taremi scored twice vs England and looks to be the main penalty taker. He is a top talent, and the FC Porto hitman is on the radar of several big European clubs ahead of the January transfer window. Azmoun also has 10 goals on this list and leads Iran with three assists. He only came off the bench to play 13 mins vs England after recent injury problems, so will be desperate to get into the XI here or play more minutes as a substitute. 

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Wales cards

If Kieffer Moore starts, then he is a major candidate for fouls and cards. The big target man averages a massive 4.04 fouls per 90 mins and his physical approach does not always go down well with referees. He also has picked up 3 cards in 7 starts. Elsewhere, Wales are quite a clean team in terms of fouls with only midfielder Joe Morrell looking somewhat of a candidate should he start in midfield. He averages 1.36 fouls per 90 mins and picked up 2 cards.

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Vahid Amiri is the most fouled Iranian player at 1.73 per 90 mins. He stayed on the bench vs England though and is not expected to start here. Jahanbaksh was the next most fouled Iran player and can sometimes be elusive. He often drifts wide on the right so could have a good matchup with Neco Williams. He has a trait to wind people up. Midfielder Saeed Ezatolahi is known for his tenacity and fight. He gets fouled on average 1.13 times per 90 mins and could have an interesting matchup with potentially Ampadu or Morrell. 

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Matchups to watch

Kieffer Moore vs Hosseini/ Cheshmi

Neco Williams vs Alireza Jahanbaksh

Ethan Ampadu or Joe Morrell vs Ahmad Nurollahi 

Iran cards

The two standout players for cards are Jahanbakhsh and Moharrami who both have five from their respective appearances. Jahanbakhsh averages 2.07 fouls per 90 mins and is known for his hot-headedness and can often get frustrated. Moharrami only averages 0.80 fouls per 90 mins but still picks up a high card accumulation. On average, the player who fouls the most for Iran is midfielder Ezatolahi at 2.15 per game. He also has 3 cards from 11 appearances and will be duelling in midfield vs the likes of Joe Morrell or Ethan Ampadu. 

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Gareth Bale draws on average 2.05 fouls per 90 mins, but it is Harry Wilson who draws the most out of this Wales team with 2.80 per match. If Wilson starts then he could feature anywhere in a front three, but most likely out wide. A potential matchup vs Moharrami would be very interesting considering the proneness of the Iranian fullback to picking up a card. Neco Williams draws 1.82 fouls per 90 mins and the wing back may very well get into some tussles with Jahanbakhsh.

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Matchups to watch

Alireza Jahanbakhsh vs Neco Williams

Sadegh Moharrami vs Harry Wilson

Ahmad Nurollahi vs Joe Morrell or Ethan Ampadu

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