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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Two High-Profile Coaches Battle in China-Iran Match

Former Guangzhou Evergrande manager and now China PR head coach Marcello Lippi

(Photo : Getty Images) Marcello Lippi and China PR are set to face Carlos Queiroz and Iran on Tuesday in the third round of the AFC 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Two high-profile football managers are set to lead their respective teams during the China versus Iran match on Tuesday at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran in the third round of the AFC 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament.

Former Juventus, Inter Milan, Guangzhou Evergrande, and Italy national team head coach Marcello Lippi is currently at the helm of Team Dragon while former Real Madrid, Manchester United assistant, and Portugal national team manager Carlos Queiroz is on the reins in Team Melli.

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Iran is on top of the Group A standings in the AFC World Cup qualifiers as they are undefeated after six rounds in the competitions with four wins and two draws.

Queiroz's team is coming off a 1-0 win over Qatar on the road at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha last Thursday to virtually eliminate Qatar from World Cup qualification. Striker Mehdi Taremi netted the winning goal in the 52nd minute to extend the Iranians' lead over second-place squad South Korea to four points.

China defeated the Koreans with a similar 1-0 count during the same matchday in a game held at the Helong Stadium in Changsha, China. Beijing Guoan striker Yu Dabao was the hero of the match for Lippi after scoring the winner in the 34th minute.

Both teams are known for their stifling defense, but Iran has the advantage over China when it comes to attacking. Lippi recently admitted that his team must improve their offensive game to have a chance of qualifying for the World Cup next year, as per ESPN.

"I hope my team don't get too self-satisfied with this," Lippi said after the win over South Korea. "Actually the last match against Qatar was better than today. Today we have done well at the defensive end. Now I hope we can improve our attacking."

Meanwhile, Queiroz praised Lippi ahead of their clash on Tuesday, saying that "it is good for Asian football that Lippi is here", the South China Morning Post reported.

"The way world football and the schedule of international games is organized, it is difficult for Asian teams to compete with the traditional strong nations in Europe and South America but it helps to have some of the best coaches working here," Queiroz said. "They can help raise the level and make Asia more competitive."

"Lippi has been everywhere in football and he will make China a stronger and more intelligent team. We know that China will be well-organized and will be compact in defense," he added.

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