England vs Iran - World Cup: Team news, lineups & prediction

Harry Kane will captain England at the 2022 World Cup
Harry Kane will captain England at the 2022 World Cup / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

England's bid to end a 56-year wait for a second World Cup begins against Iran on Monday lunchtime.

In one of the most controversial tournaments since, well, the 2018 World Cup in Russia, England kick off their campaign against an Iranian side they would well be advised not to underestimate, especially as the Three Lions are known for starting slowly at tournaments.

Euro 2020 was evidence of that, on the goals front at least, but also showed England's ability to play the situation (tournament style football) rather than be overwhelmed by the occasion.

Here's 90min's preview of the game.

Where are England vs Iran playing?

  • Location: Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
  • Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
  • Date: Monday 21 November
  • Kick-off Time: 13:00 GMT / 08:00 ET / 05:00 PT

England vs Iran H2H Results (All Time)

England and Iran have never met in men's international football.

Current Form (Last Five Games)

England: DDLLD

Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, Kyle Walker, James Maddison
England's players train in Qatar ahead of their clash with Iran / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

England team news

Gareth Southgate selected Kyle Walker in his squad despite the defender's struggles with a groin injury for Manchester City, and he won't take part in the Three Lions' first game despite returning to training.

James Maddison is also another absentee for the clash with Iran, and there's mounting concerns over whether his knee problem will hamper his future involvement in the tournament.

England alternate between a 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 depending on the opposition. Against an Iran side that will likely defend in a mid-block, Southgate may opt for the system with an extra forward option.

England predicted lineup vs Iran

England Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane.
Bench: Pope, Ramsdale, Dier, Coady, Alexander-Arnold, White, Henderson, Phillips, Foden, Gallagher, Grealish, Rashford, Wilson.

Iran team news

Iran's chief injury concern revolves around Sardar Azmoun. The leading international goalscorer in the squad has been out with a calf injury since the start of October. In place of Azmoun, Carlos Queiroz may turn to the experienced Karim Ansarifard.

Mehdi Taremi is Iran's another main threat and he's expected to drift in from the left.

Iran predicted lineup vs England

Iran Starting 11 (4-1-4-1): Beiranvand; Moharrami, Kanani, Khalilzadeh, Hajsafi; Ezatolahi; Jahanbakhsh, Nourollahi, Amiri, Taremi; Ansarifard.
Bench: Niazmand, Abedzadeh, H Hosseini, Mohammadi, Pouraliganji, Cheshmi, M Hosseini, Rezaeian, Jalali, Ghoddos, Torabi, Ghlozadeh, Karimi, Azmoun.

England vs Iran score prediction

Before rattling three past Germany in September, England had gone five matches without a goal from open play. Iran - especially under Queiroz - are not a favourable side to face while enduring scoring troubles. In 16 major international tournament matches, Queiroz's Iran have kept ten clean sheets.

Up against the highest-ranked Asian side (20th in the world), England's spluttering frontline may come under even more scrutiny in what could be a tough start to the World Cup.

Prediction: England 1-1 Iran