England vs Iran Head-to-Head stats and numbers you need to know before Match 2 of FIFA World Cup 2022

Can England get their 2022 World Cup off to a winning start when they face Iran this Monday?
Can England get their 2022 World Cup off to a winning start when they face Iran this Monday?

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is finally here, and in the first round of group-stage matches, England face off with Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan on Monday.

With Group B also containing Wales and the USA, both England and Iran will be looking to begin their tournament with a bang.

England will be the hot favorites for this game, with a squad full of Premier League superstars including the likes of Harry Kane and Jack Grealish. The Three Lions finished as runners-up at Euro 2020, and are tipped to go far in this World Cup.

Iran, meanwhile, will come into this game as big underdogs, a position they’ve taken up on multiple occasions in previous tournaments. They have not progressed past the group stage in their previous five World Cup appearances, although they came within a point of doing so in 2018.

England vs Iran Head-to-Head stats

England have never faced off against Iran before, meaning this will be the first meeting between the two sides on the biggest possible stage. Iran have, however, faced a team from the British Isles in World Cup action before, drawing 1-1 with Scotland in the 1978 edition of the tournament.

Interestingly, despite England being favored to win this game, Iran have the better recent results, as they have won two of their most recent five games, defeating Uruguay and Nicaragua in friendly games. England, meanwhile, have not tasted victory in their last six games.

England form guide: D-D-L-L-D

Iran form guide: L-W-D-W-L

England vs Iran: Numbers you need to know before their FIFA World Cup 2022 encounter

England come into this tournament on the back of an appalling UEFA Nations League campaign. They failed to win any of their six games, losing twice to Hungary, once to Italy and securing three draws, one with Italy and two against Germany. Remarkably, they found the net on just four occasions in these six games.

Despite England’s poor form in 2022, star striker Harry Kane has still managed to score a respectable three goals in eight games. In 2021, the Tottenham forward scored a ridiculous 16 goals in 16 games and is now only two goals away from equalling Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals for his country.

In World Cup action, England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia in the 2018 edition of the tournament was their first victory in an opening game since their 2006 win over Paraguay. The Three Lions have not won two opening games in a row across two World Cups since 1970 and 1982, so they will be looking to change that here.

Iran qualified for this World Cup in style, winning their qualification group by finishing two points ahead of South Korea. They won eight of their 10 games and lost only once, with four goals coming from former Brighton forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

While they have never qualified for the knockout stages of a World Cup, Iran will be hoping that the goals of Porto striker Mehdi Taremi can help them to progress from their group. The 30-year-old has scored 28 goals in 60 appearances for his country and has scored 11 goals in the current season, including five in Champions League action.

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Edited by Peter P