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Beating Esteghlal is a priority for Persepolis: Branko Ivankovic

Ivankovic Derby 88

Tehran Times - Persepolis coach Branko Ivankovic says defeating Esteghlal in Tehran derby is a priority for them and he is not going to protect his players from injury.

Persepolis will face their arch rivals Esteghlal on Thursday ahead of the key match against Al Sadd of Qatar in the first leg of the AFC Champions League semi-final scheduled for Oct. 2.

“You cannot predict the result of the derby with regard to teams’ positions in the table. Derby is a special match for both teams,” Ivankovic said.

“I want to transfer happiness to my players to enjoy the match. We have played good derbies with Esteghlal in the previous matches and it made me happy. I hope we will have a good performance in front of our fans on Thursday,” the Croat said.

“We have no injured and suspended players for this match. I think the players will decide the result of the match. I expect a full-packed stadium,” Ivankovic added.

“I don’t want to lose and I like to win but it’s not always possible. To attack is our philosophy and I will not change it,” Ivankovic went on to say.

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