India will face their toughest challenge in the FIFA World Cup qualification campaign when they meet Iran, Asia’s strongest team, here on Tuesday.
After successive defeats against Oman and Guam, the hosts will be under tremendous pressure to put up a good show against Iran.
Placed 40th in the FIFA rankings, Iran, who have qualified for four World Cup finals, including the 2014 edition in Brazil, will start as the overwhelming favourites against the 155th ranked India. Despite brave words emanating from the Indian camp ahead of the Tuesday’s game, it remains to be seen whether Stephen Constantine’s boys, led by Sunil Chhetri, can walk the talk against the team which is expected to qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia.
Despite their obvious superiority, Iran coach Carlos Queroz refused to attach much significance to the FIFA rankings or the past results between the two countries. Out of the 10 contests between the two teams, Iran have won seven, India two.
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