England and Iran have kicked off in the second match of the World Cup from Qatar.
England is continuing a 56-year quest to win a major trophy. England is wearing white, Iran red. England sent out a lineup of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford; defenders Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw; midfielders Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice; and forwards Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
Iran’s far less familiar lineup is goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand; defenders Morteza Pouraliganji, Roozbeh Cheshmi and Majid Hosseini; midfielders Sadegh Moharrami, Milad Mohammadi, Ahmad Noorollahi, Ali Karimi and Ehsan Hajsafi; and attackers Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Mehdi Taremi.
Make no mistake, Iran are big underdogs today, a goal and a half in the American sports betting parlance. They would be happy with a draw against last year’s European championship finalists.
It’s difficult to assess England’s chances at this World Cup. The team looked great making the final of the Euros in 2021, but its 2022 was abysmal: no wins in six Nations League games, and two of those were against Hungary. It adds up to making them 8-1 for the title, the fourth favorite behind Brazil, Argentina and France. Iran is 500-1.
This article will update as the game is played.