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Iran national football team
Asian Cup | Group Stage
Jan 23, 2024 at 3pm UK
Education City Stadium
United Arab Emirates national football team

2 - 1

Taremi (26', 65')
Moharrami (41'), Kanani (62')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Alghassani (90+3')
Alzaabi (54'), Ibrahim (72')

Preview: Iran vs. United Arab Emirates - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Asian Cup clash between Iran and United Arab Emirates, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) can secure a spot in the last 16 of the Asian Cup with a victory over Iran on Tuesday at Education City Stadium.

Team Melli assured themselves a place in the next round with a 1-0 win over Hong Kong on matchday two, while the UAE could only manage a 1-1 draw with Palestine.

Match preview

Iran coach Amir Ghalenoei reacts on January 14, 2024© Reuters

Iran are into the knockout stage of this competition for an eighth successive campaign, increasing their winning run to four matches in all competitions.

There was little space for them against a disciplined Hong Kong side whose airtight marking limited the Iranians scoring opportunity.

The Iranians had netted multiple times in eight straight matches in all competitions before running into Hong Kong, though this side have now conceded a goal or fewer in all four of their encounters this year.

While passage into the knockout stage is assured, Amir Ghalenoei's men still have plenty to play for, as a win or draw would guarantee they finish top of the group and avoid the hosts Qatar in the next round.

Iran have finished top of their group in four successive Asian Cup campaigns, and by avoiding defeat on Tuesday, they would increase their unbeaten run in the group stage of this tournament to 23 matches.

Team Melli are riding an impressive 15-match unbeaten run heading into this fixture and have only been behind in three of those encounters.

United Arab Emirates' Khalifa Al Hammadi is shown a red card by referee Ahmed Al-Ali on January 18, 2024© Reuters

A spot in the knockout stage was in their grasp before an own goal early in the second half knocked the UAE back on matchday two.

Paulo Bento was forced to change his approach after his side were reduced to 10 men just 14 minutes after going in front in the opening half.

To their credit, Eyal Zayed defended admirably despite facing wave after wave of Palestinian pressure, conceding seven shots on target while only having 35% of the possession.

Their place in the last 16 is not official, but it would take an epic collapse for them to get knocked out of the group stage as they sit three points above Palestine for second, with the UAE boasting a +2-goal differential and the Palestinians at -3.

With a victory, the UAE would win their Asian Cup group for a second successive campaign and likely have a more favourable round of 16 matchup.

Meanwhile, a win or draw would mark the second consecutive time that Al Abyad will have finished the group stage of this tournament without a defeat.

Iran Asian Cup form:

Iran form (all competitions):

United Arab Emirates Asian Cup form:

United Arab Emirates form (all competitions):

Team News

Iran's Karim Ansarifard celebrates scoring their first goal with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Ehsan Hajsafi on January 14, 2024© Reuters

On matchday two, Iran were without Shojae Khalilzadeh, who got hurt just before half time versus Palestine, while Ali Gholizadeh sat out once again with a knock.

Omid Ebrahimi and Ramin Rezaeian collected their 60th caps for the national team on Friday, while Hossein Kanaanizadegan is two away from 50.

Mehdi Ghayedi netted for the second match running, and Alireza Beiranvand only had to make two stops to collect his first clean sheet of the competition.

Khlaifa Al Hammadi will not be available to the United Arab Emirates squad on Tuesday after receiving a red card on matchday two.

Bento made three changes to his starting 11 from matchday one to two, bringing in Khaled Ibrahim, Majid Rashid and Ali Saleh to replace Zayed Sultan, Yahia Nader and Tahnoon Al-Zaabi.

Sultan Adil netted his second of the competition, while Khalid Eisa kept them in front, stopping Tamer Seyam from the penalty spot, but could do nothing about the equaliser from his own teammate Bader Nasser.

Iran possible starting lineup:
Beiranvand; Rezaeian, Kanaanizadegan, Hosseini, Hajsafi; Ghoddos, Ezatolahi; Jahanbakhsh, Taremi, Ghayedi; Ansarifard

United Arab Emirates possible starting lineup:
Eisa; Sultan, Al-Hashemi, Nasser, Idrees; Salmeen, Ramadan; Lima, Saleh, Canedo; Adil

SM words green background

We say: Iran 1-0 United Arab Emirates

Iran have won their last five meetings with the United Arab Emirates and did not concede a single goal in any of those encounters.

Seeing as this is a match for first place and avoiding the host nation next, we expect a sense of urgency from each, but with their most experienced defender suspended, the UAE may have a few more holes in their backline.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Iran players pose for a team group photo before the match on November 10, 2022
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Group A

Q Qatar Qatar33009
Q Tajikistan Tajikistan31114
3 China China30212
4 Lebanon flag Lebanon30121

Group B

Q Australia Australia32107
Q Uzbekistan Uzbekistan31205
Q Syria flag Syria31114
4 India India30030

Group C

Q Iran Iran33009
Q United Arab Emirates flag UAE31114
Q Palestine flag Palestine31114
4 Hong Kong Hong Kong00000

Group D

Q Iraq Iraq33009
Q Japan Japan32016
Q Indonesia flag Indonesia31023
4 Vietnam flag Vietnam30030

Group E

Q Bahrain Bahrain32016
Q Republic of Korea South Korea31205
Q Jordan flag Jordan31114

Group F

Q Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia32107
Q Thailand Thailand31205
3 Oman flag Oman30212
4 Kyrgyzstan flag Kyrgyzstan30121

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