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Iran vs Hong Kong prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Iran (31) are placed over 100 places above Hong Kong (144) in world rankings
Iran (31) are placed over 100 places above Hong Kong (144) in world rankings
Sachin Bhat
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Iran resume their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on Thursday with a match against Hong Kong at the Al Muharraq Stadium on neutral soil in Bahrain.

Iran have participated in the last two World Cups. Team Melli, the highest ranked Asian side in the world, are somehow not the favorites right now in Group C.

They started the qualifiers on a bright note, beating Hong Kong 2-0 in the opening game before cutting a swathe through Cambodia in a 14-0 shellacking. However, back-to-back losses to Bahrain and Iraq have punctured some of the early momentum.

The Persian outfit are currently third with six points from four games, five points off leaders and neighbors Iraq. They cannot afford to lose more points in their quest for a third consecutive World Cup appearance.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong are just a point adrift of Iran, albeit having played one more game, and hope to at least secure a place in the third round of AFC qualifying.


Iran vs Hong Kong Head-To-Head

Iran have won five of their previous six clashes against Hong Kong, with the only defeat coming way back in a 1974 friendly.

The first leg of their World Cup qualifiers also went Team Melli's way when Iran secured a comfortable 2-0 win in Hong Kong.

Iran Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-L-L-W

Hong Kong Form Guide (all competitions): D-W-L-L-L


Iran vs Hong Kong Team News

Iran

Head coach Dragan Skocic has called up 26 players for this month's quadruple-header. Star names like Brighton's Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Porto forward Mehdi Taremi and prolific striker Sardar Azmoun all feature for Team Melli.

The only uncapped player in the squad is Danial Esmaeilifar, the 28-year-old Sepahan defender who's looking to earn his first international cap.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Hong Kong

The Strength team is mostly made up of young players alongside the experienced likes of Yapp Hung Fai, Helio and skipper Huang Yang.

Five players are in line to make their international debuts - Clayton, Diego Eli, Fernando Augusto, Matt Orr and Yu Wai Lim.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None


Iran vs Hong Kong Predicted XI

Iran (4-4-2): Alireza Beiranvand; Siamak Nemati, Shoja Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Milad Mohammadi; Vahid Amiri, Ahmad Nourollahi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Ali Gholizadeh; Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi.

Hong Kong (4-1-4-1): Yapp Hung Fai; Tong Kin Man, Hing Wa Fung, Helio, Wang Kit Tsui; Yan Huang; Siu Kwan Cheng, Shinichi Chan, Wong Wai, Wai Keung Chun; James Ha.


Iran vs Hong Kong Prediction

Iran are the highest-ranked Asian side and favorites to qualify for a third straight World Cup.

They've had some bumps on the road so far but have the caliber to see off Hong Kong and secure another three-point haul.

Prediction: Iran 3-0 Hong Kong


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Edited by Peter P
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