IR Iran out to maintain perfect start [Preview]

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AFC – TEHRAN, The Islamic Republic of Iran will be aiming to make it two wins from two when they host Cambodia in Tehran on Thursday.

The Iranians began their latest Continental campaign with a 2-0 win away at Hong Kong on Matchday Two of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, a result which has left the East Asians – who are set to play Iraq – propping up the Group C table.


Iran will be without the services of Alireza Jahanbakhsh after the striker was omitted from the squad named by head coach Marc Wilmots ahead of this week’s clash with Cambodia and the October 15 trip to Bahrain.

Jahanbakhsh, a key performer in Iran’s success against Hong Kong on Matchday Two, has not featured for English Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion since picking up an injury while away with Team Melli.

Despite the striker’s enforced absence, Wilmots will be encouraged by the form of livewire frontman Sardar Azmoun who shone brightly for his country when Iran reached the semi-finals of this year’s AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The 24-year-old is currently attracting headlines aplenty thanks to a string of notable displays for club side Zenit St. Petersburg – not least in the UEFA Champions League where he has scored two goals in as many games.

For their part, Cambodia arrive for the game needing to avoid defeat and desperate to reignite a campaign which has seen the Southeast Asians garner just one point from their opening two matches.

After their test at Tehran’s iconic Azadi Stadium, Cambodia are scheduled to entertain Iraq in Phnom Penh next Tuesday.

Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Kick-off: 17:00 (UTC +3.30)

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