MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 01:27:58

Preview: Iran vs. Nigeria

Sports Mole looks ahead to Monday's World Cup encounter between Iran and Nigeria.

Iran and Nigeria get their respective World Cup campaigns up and running on Monday when the Group F rivals meet in Curitiba.

The Iranians failed to make it to the tournament four years ago, but they made sure that they reached Brazil this time around thanks to a dominant display in qualifying.

They will be expected to struggle in a group that contains Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria, but they can take some encouragement from the leadership of experienced coach Carlos Queiroz.

Meanwhile, Nigeria travel to Brazil full of confidence after romping through the African section of qualifying.

The Super Eagles were unbeaten in their group before they earned a 4-1 aggregate victory over Ethiopia to eventually seal their place at the finals.

The match is likely to feature a number of players who ply their trade in British football, with Ashkan Dejagah, John Obi Mikel, Shola Ameobi, Efe Ambrose and Peter Odemwingie all expected to be involved.

Recent form

Iran: WLDDDW

Nigeria: LWDDDL

Possible starting lineups

Iran: Haghighi; Hosseini, Heydari, Montazeri, Pooladi; Sadeghi, Nekounam, Teymourian; Dejagah, Hajsafi; Ghoochannejhad

Nigeria: Enyeama; Ambrose, Oboabona, Yobo, Oshaniwa; Moses, Onazi, Mikel, Azeez; Odemwingie, Ameobi

Sports Mole says: 0-2

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Argentina's forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Paraguay during a Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup South American qualifier football match at Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asuncion, Paraguay, on September 10, 2013
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