Monday, 11 June 2012 09:24
GOAL - Team Melli will be roared on by a big Tehran crowd when they aim to make it two wins from two games, but Paulo Autuori's side will make life difficult for them
Team Melli begun their final round World Cup qualifying campaign with a lucky 1-0 victory away to Uzbekistan and have since been resting ahead of this game. Coach Carlos Queiroz has a major dilemma, with attacking midfielder Mojtaba Jabbari ruled out due to injury. The Portuguese boss is likely to re-shuffle his side, with matchwinner Mohammad Reza Khalatbari or Karim Ansarifard drafted into the side, while Ali Karimi moves into a more attacking role. Ashkan Dejagah scored a double when these two sides met in February and could be considered.
Qatar coach Paulo Autuori appears uncertain on his starting line-up for the game, having taken a massive 29-man squad to Tehran. Ghana-born midfielder Lawrence Quaye missed the loss to South Korea due to injury and remains a doubt, while Khaled Muftah and Ibrahim Al Ghanim will battle it out for a start in defence. Autuori may again rely on his attacking trio of Sebastian Soria, Yusuf Ahmed and Khalfan Ibrahim.
DID YOU KNOW?
Iran drew 2-2 with Qatar when these two sides met in third round qualifying in Tehran, although Team Melli had already sealed their progress at that stage.
Team Melli failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals, having made the event in 1978, 1998 and 2006.
Queiroz guided Portugal to the 2010 World Cup, although they never totally convinced, before being eliminated in the Round of 16 by Spain.
Qatar have produced decent results on the road in recent times, claiming two draws and a win in third round qualifying away from home, while they knocked off Lebanon in Beirut in the final phae opener.
Paulo Autuori is Qatar's fourth coach since the 2011 Asian Cup with Bruno Metsu, Milovan Rajevac and Sebastiao Lazaroni having departed in the past 18 months.
Qatar have never qualified for the World Cup finals, but will host the 2022 event.