Bulgaria welcomes Iran to the Hristo Botev Stadium in Plovdiv and on the 10th of September visits Montenegro in a European Group G qualifier that could be a decisive match for both teams. The Bulgarian national team is made of mediocre players, with no offensive power at all, and it’s maybe the worst Bulgarian team in the past decade. Coach Mladen Krstaic is making a rejuvenation and many key players like Krastev (Los Angeles), Stoyanov (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Nedyalkov (long-term injured), Hristov (Spezia), Minchev (Sparta Prague), Stefanov (Levski), and Petkov (Levski) have not been called.
Iran’s team is one of the most successful in its continent, with six appearances in world cups, three times the champion of Asia, and three times the champion of the Asian Games. In addition to Bulgaria, the Persians will play on September 12 at home with Angola, and the two matches are preparations for the King Abdullah II Cup tournament in October. The squad is well balanced with some top quality players like Mehdi Taremi (Porto), Alireza Jahanbaksh (Feyenoord), Saman Godos (Brentford), Milad Mohammadi (AEK), Sadeh Moharami (Dinamo Zagreb), while only notable absences are Serdar Azmoun (AS Roma) and Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor).
Due to the hard away match in Podgorica, coach Mladen Krstajić will give a chance to many reserves to show their potential, and I think that Iran has a really solid and compact team that can take the win.