Iran vs USA preview: World Cup Group B, Round 3, 2022
Photo: Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The US Men's National Team plays their biggest game in many years as the Stars and Stripes face Iran in their final Group B group stage match at the 2022 World Cup.

Gregg Berhalter's men began with a 1-1 draw against Wales, Gareth Bale scoring from the penalty spot inside the final ten minutes to cancel out Tim Weah's first-half opener.

That was followed by another draw, but the Americans played much better, dominating England for much of their match, Christian Pulisic coming closest to scoring after hitting the crossbar in the 33rd minute.

Victory is what is required for the Stars and Stripes to reach the knockout stages for the third time in their last four World Cup appearances with their best finish in the modern tournament a quarterfinal showing in 2002.

For Iran, a result is all that's required to reach the last 16 for the first time ever. The Persians were dominated by England in their opener by a 6-2 scoreline before a stunning 2-0 win over Wales through goals by Roozbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian in second-half stoppage time.

This is the third all-time meeting between Iran and USA with the Middle Easterners winning the first 2-1 in the second game of the group stage of the 1998 World Cup and the second a 1-1 draw in a friendly two years later in Pasadena, California.

Team news

Iran

Starting goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand missed out against Wales after suffering a concussion and broken nose in the defeat to England with Hossein Hosseini expected to start again.

Iran will also be without the services of Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who is suspended after being shown his second yellow card last time out.

USA

Kellyn Acosta, Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie and Tim Ream are all on a yellow card another booking would see them suspended for the Stars and Stripes should they reach the Round of 16. 

Berhalter inserted Haji Wright into the starting lineup in place of Josh Sargent as he searches for a consistent option at the striker position.

Giovanni Reyna made his World Cup debut against England, playing 15 minutes and he should more playing time in this crucial contest.

Key players

Sardar Azmoun (Iran)

He made his first start since picking up a calf injury in October and just his attacking presence alone makes the Persians attack more threatening.

Christian Pulisic (USA)

He hasn't scored in Qatar, but his play against England showed why he is a world-class player. Was an attacking threat from the start, ran at defenders the entire time and linked up with teammates well.

With players like McKennie, Yunus Musah and Tyler Adams providing the 24-year-old outstanding service, he should get plenty of chances to open his World Cup account.

Likely line-ups

Iran: H. Hosseini; Mohammed, M. Hosseini, Pouraligani, Rezaeian; Cheshmi, Ezatolahi; Hajisafi, Gholizadeh; Taremi, Azmoun

USA: Turner; Robinson, Ream, Zimmerman, Dest; McKennie, Adams, Musah; Weah, Sargent, Pulisic

Match facts

Where is the match being played?

The match will be played at the Al Thumama Stadium, the fifth of eight matches to be played at the stadium with one more group stage match between Morocco and Canada as well as a Round of 16 and quarterfinal match each.

What time is the match?

Kick-off is set for 2pm in the United States, 7pm in the United States and 10pm in Qatar.

How can I watch the match?

The match will be televised by FOX and Telemundo in English and Spanish, respectively while Peacock will have live-streaming coverage. The BBC will show the match in the United Kingdom.

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