Fervent fans have always packed Tehran’s Azadi Stadium for the derby.
Fervent fans have always packed Tehran’s Azadi Stadium for the derby.

Esteghlal, Persepolis to Clash in Azadi Stadium

The 85th derby marks the first time the two teams will face each other both headed by foreign coaches; Persepolis headed by the Croatian manager Branko Ivankovic and Esteghlal with the German head coach Winfried Schäfer

Esteghlal, Persepolis to Clash in Azadi Stadium

The 80,000-capacity Azadi Stadium will host football fans on October 26 for the 85th Tehran derby between Esteghlal and Persepolis, the last match at the week 10 of Iran Persian Gulf Pro League.
The-afc.com takes a look at the history of one of the fiercest and most iconic rivalries in Asian football. The match was declared as the most important derby in Asia and 22nd most important derby in the world in June 2008 by World Soccer magazine.
Esteghlal (wearing blue jersey) will meet its arch-rival on Thursday while it is placed 13th at the league table accumulating nine points out of nine matches and Persepolis (wearing red) is ranked third, with 17 points from eight games.
Having clashed as rivals for almost 50 years, the first official match between Esteghlal and Persepolis, a 0-0 draw, took place in 1968.

  Two Asian Titles
When it comes to continental football, the Blues have more reasons to cheer than the Reds.
Esteghlal won the 1970 Asian Club Championship - a precursor to the AFC Champions League.
The Blues then repeated the success in the 1990-91 competition and remain the most successful Iranian team on the continental stage.
Persepolis has enjoyed less success in Asian tournaments, with a single triumph -- the inaugural Asian Cup Winners’ Cup in 1990-91.
The Reds’ four semifinal appearances in the Asian Club Championship mean the team falls short of matching Esteghlal’s winning record.
In the AFC Champions League, Persepolis has never been able to make it to the final; they made their debut appearance in the semifinals this year before being ousted by Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal.
From 1995 to 2009 foreign referees were invited to officiate, to reduce the likelihood of bias or claims thereof in favor of one side or the other.
The 85th derby marks the first time the two teams will face each other both headed by foreign coaches. Persepolis has been coached for two years by the Croatian manager Branko Ivankovic, while Esteghlal has recently employed the German head coach Winfried Schäfer.
Schäfer has coached the Blues for just two games, earning one draw in the Pro League and one win in the Hazfi Cup.
In their last encounter, the 84th derby, Esteghlal, managed by Iranian coach Alireza Mansourian, won the game 3-2.


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