Thailand is hosting the Blind Football Asian Championships ©IBSA

Defending champions China will clash once again with Paralympic silver medallists Iran at the Blind Football Asian Championships in Pattaya.

Eight countries will be competing in Thailand in all, with matches at Pattaya Youth Center beginning tomorrow.

As well as continental glory, the two finalists will book their place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

China beat Iran 2-0 in the last final in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in 2017, less than a year after the Iranians had captured Rio 2016 silver.

They return with a number of players who were in the squad two years ago, including leading goalscorer Wei Jiansen.

Iran's best player from Kuala Lumpur, Behzad Zadaliasghari, is also present in Thailand alongside a number of players from their Rio 2016 team.

Iran won Paralympic silver at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Iran won Paralympic silver at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

The Chinese have been placed in Group A with hosts Thailand, South Korea and India.

Iran will meet Japan, Oman and Malaysia in Group B.

Japan have already qualified for Tokyo 2020 as host nation, so the third-placed side will reach the Paralympics if they get to the final.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals with the International Blind Sports Federation tournament running until October 6.

Oman, making their regional debut, will take on Japan in tomorrow's first game.