Tehran Times - Marc Wilmots has named his 23-man team for two matches against Cambodia and Bahrain at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers but Brighton winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh has been dropped from Team Melli following a poor run of form.
Iran, who started the campaign with a 2-0 win against Hong Kong in September, will host Cambodia in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10 and meet Bahrain in Manama five days later.
Team Melli have been drawn in Group C alongside Iraq, Bahrain, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Tractor), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan)
Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (Al-Shahania SC), Majid Hosseini (Trabzonspor), Milad Mohammadi (Gent), Siavash Yazdani (Esteghlal), Mohammadhossein Kananizadegan (Persepolis), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al-Arabi), Mohammad Naderi (Persepolis), Morteza Manouri (Sepahan)
Midfielders: Omid Ebrahimi (Al Ahli, Qatar), Masoud Shojaei (Tractor), Ahmad Nourollahi (Persepolis), Ashkan Dejagah (Tractor), Ali Karimi (Esteghlal), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Ehsan Haji Safi (Tractor), Mehrdad Mohammadi (Desportivo Aves)
Strikers: Mehdi Taremi (Rio Ave), Sardar Azmoun (Zenit), Karim Ansarifard (Al-Sailiya), Mohammad Mohebbi (Sepahan)