Tehran: Table-topping Islamic Republic of Iran have announced their squad for their upcoming FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Qatar and China.
The Iranians currently lead Group A by a solitary point from second-placed Korea Republic, and are set to face Qatar in Doha on March 23 before hosting China at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran five days later.
The list of 23 players chosen by head coach Carlos Queiroz does not, however, include the influential Ashkan Dejagah who has been ruled out following the calf injury he sustained while playing for Bundesliga side Wolfsburg last month.
Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Mohammadreza Akhbari (Tractorsazi), Rashid Mazaheri (Zobahan)
Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (Persepolis), Vouria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Jalal Hosseini (Perspolis), Pejman Montazeri (Al Ahli, QAT), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al Sadd, QAT), Ezatollah Pourghaz (Saipa), Milad Mohammadi (Terek Grozny, RUS), Mohammad Ansari (Persepolis)
Midfielders: Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan), Saeid Ezatollahi (Anzhi Makhachkala, RUS), Ali Karimi (Lokomotiva Zagreb, CRO), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Masoud Shojaei (Panionios, GRE)
Forwards: Sardar Azmoun (Rostov, RUS), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen, NED), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos, GRE), Mehdi Taremi (Persepolis), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar, NED), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Sasan Ansari (Foolad Khouzestan)