News ID: 314786
Published: 0900 GMT July 14, 2021

Persepolis, Esteghlal to battle it out for a place in cup semis

Persepolis, Esteghlal to battle it out for a place in cup semis
AHMAD MOEINIJAM/IRNA

Sports Desk

The 96th Tehran derby will see arch-rivals Persepolis and Esteghlal square off in the Hazfi Cup quarterfinals at the Azadi Stadium on Thursday.

Both sides will step into the game hoping to build on a run of recent impressive results.

Yahya Golmohammadi’s Persepolis have been unbeaten at Thursday’s venue for nearly a year, with their last domestic defeat coming in an away 2-1 result against Aluminium Arak in January.

They have won 16 and settled for four draws in their previous 20 outings across league and cup.

The Reds, sitting top of the Persian Gulf Pro League with three games to spare, are in contention for a second domestic double in three years.

They will be without international midfielder Kamal Kamyabinia and striker Issa Al-e Kassir, who scored the winner in the corresponding fixture in the league in May.

Esteghlal, meanwhile, have been without a defeat since May, wining six in seven since back-to-back losses to Zob Ahan and Thursday’s opponents.

Farhad Majidi’s men will put in their last-ditch efforts for silverware this season as they are all but guaranteed a third-spot finish in the league.

Esteghlal enjoy a fine record against Persepolis in the cup, having beaten their city rivals in the previous two meetings in the competition, including a shootout victory in last season’s semifinals.

 

Ref returns

 

High-profile Iranian referee Alireza Faghani has been lined up by Iran Football Federation for Thursday’s encounter.

The international ref has been living in Australia with his family since 2019, where he was signed up by the A-League to the match officials’ panel.

Elsewhere in the Hazfi Cup last-eight round, Javad Nekounam’s Foolad Khuzestan will host Moharram Navidkia’s Sepahan on Thursday, with Golgohar Sirjan and Aluminium Arak meeting in Sirjan.

Second-tier sides Malavan and Kheybar will fancy a spot in the cup semis when going head-to-head in Bandar Anzali.

 

 

 

 

 

   
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