SportsKeeda – RIFFA, Iran,Â and Cambodia lock horns at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Bahrain in aÂ 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifierÂ on Friday.
Trailing leaders Iraq by just two points in Group C, Team Melli are looking to remain hot on their coatails as the third round spot closes in. Iran can still mathematically achieve direct qualification for the 2023 Asia Cup.
Cambodia, meanwhile, is rooted to the foot of the standings with just a single point from seven games and was handed another 4-1 thrashing byÂ IraqÂ in their last game.
With 34 goals conceded, the Angkor Warriors have registered the worst defensive tally by any side in the AFC zone at this stage.
The sides have played each other just once before, in the first leg of their World Cup qualifiers in September 2019. On that occasion, Iran smashed Cambodia in a historic 14-0 victory.
Karim Ansarifard netted four times while Sardar Azmoun netted a hat-trick as Team Melli inflicted the South Asian side’s worst defeat in history.
Cambodia Form Guide (all competitions): L-D-L-L-L
Iran Form Guide (all competitions):Â L-L-W-W-W
Head coach Ryu Hirose might recall experienced midfielder Kouch Sokumpheak back in the starting XI after he sat on the bench in the last game. Meanwhile, Thierry Bin is also pushing for a start.
The attacking frontline of Keo Sokpheng, Prak Mony Udom and Sieng Chanthea might keep their places.
Very few changes are expected in the Iranian lineup which started against Bahrain, as Dragan Skocic must have been satisfied with his side’s performance in the 3-0 drubbing.
Karim Ansarifard was an unused substitute in the last game and might get a few minutes off the bench. He will be hoping to put some more goals past Cambodia after his spectacular four-goal haul against them in the first leg.
Cambodia (4-3-3): Keo Soksela; Ouk Sovann, Visal Soeuy, Cheng Meng, Sareth Krya; Lim Pisoth, Kouch Sokumpheak, Sos Souhana; Keo Sokpheng, Prak Mony Udom, Sieng Chanthea.
Iran (4-4-2):Â Alireza Beiranvand; Sadegh Moharrami, Shoja Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanani, Milad Mohammadi; Ali Gholizadeh, Ahmad Nourollahi, Vahid Amiri, Ehsan Hajsafi; Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi.
Cambodia have been one of the weakest sides in these qualifiers and Iran, in all likelihood, should be able to secure another thumping victory.
Prediction: Cambodia 0-6 Iran