Iraq will continue their Asian Cup campaign with a match against Yemen on Saturday. Iraq will be hoping to build on their 3-2 victory against Vietnam, while Yemen will look to get back on track following a 5-0 defeat against Iran.
The Lions of Mesopotamia will be under pressure to not only be victorious but to do so by a wide margin. Iraq will need to match Iran’s 5-0 result in order to have any hope of leading the group on goal difference by the end of the second round of group matches, assuming Iran beat Vietnam in the other game.
Katenec is rumoured to be ditching the 3-4-3 formation that started the Vietnam game and instead could opt for a four at the back. Katenec also hinted at starting Humam Tariq following his impressive performance against Vietnam off the bench. Meanwhile, Yemen, under Slovak manager Ján Kocian, will likely start with a 4-4-2 again.
Katenec’s men are under a lot of pressure to perform. Despite their victory against Vietnam, a lot of fans criticised the team’s performance. The aspects most criticised were the defensive set-up and the performance of goalkeeper Jalal Hassan. The match will give a chance for striker Mohanad Ali to add to his goal tally and challenge for the Golden Boot, while Jalal Hassan and the rest of the Iraqi defence will hope to get over their blunders from the first game and keep a clean sheet.
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