KAZAN, Russia: Iran have suffered a blow ahead of Wednesday's World Cup Group B clash against Spain with versatile defender Rouzbeh Cheshmi ruled out of the rest of the tournament by injury.
Cheshmi, who started Iran's opening 1-0 victory over Morocco in central defence, suffered a muscle injury in training on Sunday and would be sidelined for four weeks, according to the Iran Football Federation.
The 24-year-old will stay with the squad in Russia but his injury means coach Carlos Queiroz will have to reshuffle his line-up for back-to-back matches against Iberian powers Spain and Portugal over the next six days.
Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh is among the options to partner Morteza Pouraliganji in central defence against 2010 world champions Spain at the Kazan Arena.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)