Nov 13 (Reuters) – Injured forward Sardar Azmoun was named in Iran’s World Cup squad on Sunday but midfielder Omid Ebrahimi was left off coach Carlos Queiroz’s 25-man list after picking up a groin injury in a friendly this week.
Azmoun, 27, tore a muscle in his right calf while warming up for Bayer Leverkusen’s Champions League clash with Porto on Oct. 4 and has not featured since, with his Bundesliga club saying he was expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
Al Wakrah midfielder Ebrahimi sustained the groin injury in Thursday’s friendly against Nicaragua. The 35-year-old was a standout performer under Queiroz in 2018 but has made only four appearances for Iran since November 2019.
Mehdi Taremi has starred for Porto this season, scoring 13 times in 19 appearances, and will lead the line alone in Qatar or in tandem with Azmoun, should the Leverkusen striker shake off the injury in time for their opener against England on Nov. 21.
Iran will play Tunisia in Doha in their final warm-up match before taking on England, Wales and the United States in Group B.
Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan).
Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal).
Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi (Shabab Al Ahli), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor).
Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia Nicosia), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Mehdi Taremi (Porto).
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)