The final set of FIFA World Cup 2014 group games is upon us—where on earth did the time go?
Here we analyse Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran: A game in which the former can only play for pride, but the latter need at least two goals (and a win!) to qualify in second behind Argentina.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, somehow, have already been eliminated from the tournament despite playing some excellent football.
They held their own against Argentina and lost in unfortunate circumstances, then fluffed their lines on their big night against Nigeria and got burned by the powerful Emmanuel Emenike.
With nothing to lose they could opt for all-out attack here, with a 4-4-2 formation a distinct possibility to incorporate Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic in the same XI.
Senad Lulic can provide the ammo from the left and Miralem Pjanic the creativity from the centre, but the defensive setup has to improve.
"We still have a chance to go through...I hope we have showed the world that Iran can play football," Ashkan Dejagah said, per The National, after Iran's loss to Argentina.
Many will have been surprised with how stubborn and resilient the Persian Stars have been over the course of 180 minutes, but we'll need to see a different side to their game if they're to extend their fairy-tale summer.
Iran need goals, so their deep-set 4-2-3-1 formation reliant strictly on three-man attacks simply won't do. They could switch to a 4-4-2 or push their lines further up the pitch; we eagerly await Carlos Queiroz's team selection.
2 Tactical Clashes
1. Coming Forward
This one's more of a question, but we're dying to know: What are Iran like when forced to attack and score goals?
They played their entire qualifying campaign in counterattack mode, helped by the fact they faced the likes of possession-based South Korea, and they never had to initiate things using sustained spells of pressure.
Their system suits pace in space and short, sharp attacks. Will this be the day Javad Nekounam finally comes to play?
2. How Do You Break Them Down?
Iran have conceded just a single goal in this tournament: Lionel Messi's incredible 30-yard left-footed strike in the dying seconds of their unfortunate loss to Argentina.
Before that moment of genius the Albiceleste had failed to break them down, and in the previous game Nigeria had thrown the kitchen sink at this defensive line only to come up empty-handed.
Bosnia-Herzegovina can field two tall strikers and swing crosses in, but can they get the better of Amir Sadeghi and Jalal Hosseini? Shola Ameobi couldn't.
Bleacher Report will do a tactical preview and review of every single 2014 FIFA World Cup game. Stay tuned to this link and check it every day for more.
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