Iraq bid to extend unbeaten run against Iran and secure place in next round of World Cup qualifying

Srecko Katanec's side are two points clear going into final game and haven't been beaten for 19 matches

Soccer Football - World Cup - Asia Qualifiers - Second Round - Group C - Hong Kong v Iraq - Al Muharraq Stadium, Al Muharraq, Bahrain - June 11, 2021 Iraq's Ali Adnan in action with Hong Kong's Matthew Orr REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Iraq will look to maintain their stunning run of form and secure a place in the next round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup when they take on Iran in Group C on Tuesday.

After securing 17 points from seven games, Srecko Katanec's side are two points clear and need just a draw at the Sheikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium in Muharraq to win the group ahead of their second-place rivals.

But the Slovenian and former UAE manager Katanec is unlikely to adopt a cautious gameplan against an Iran side who have been scoring at will, including a 10-0 win against Cambodia last Friday.

Iran have now picked up seven straight wins across all competitions, scoring 23 goals and conceding just two, but will find Iraq a tougher proposition.

The leaders have gone an incredible 19 games unbeaten, dating back to a 1-0 loss to Bahrain in the WAFF Championship in 2019.

They continued their brilliant run in the qualifiers with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hong Kong last Friday, Mohammed Qasim Majid scoring the only goal in the 11th minute.

Top spot will secure a place in the final round of the Asian qualifiers, while the runners-up could also go through depending on other results.

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