Roman Vlasov, red, leads the Russian team aiming to lift the UWW Greco-Roman World Cup for the first time since 2013 ©UWW

After three consecutive second place finishes, Russia will be aiming to lift the United World Wrestling (UWW) Greco-Roman World Cup for the first time since 2013 when action begins in Abadan in Iran tomorrow.

Eight countries will compete across two days at the Kowsar Arena with preliminary rounds scheduled for tomorrow and Friday (March 17) morning.

The competition will then draw to a close with the finals on Friday evening.

Rio 2016 and London 2012 Olympic champion Roman Vlasov and Rio 2016 gold medallist Davit Chakvetadze spearhead the Russian effort and will be joined by Mingiyan Semenov and Sergei Semenov.

Reigning and former world champions Ramazan Abacharaev and Chingiz Labazanov also feature in the Russian squad, along with 2014 World Championships silver medallist Evgeny Saleev and Baku 2015 European Games champion Stepan Maryanyan.

The Russians can, however, expect a tough challenge in the Group A preliminaries from defending champions Iran, even though Rio 2016 bronze medallist Saeid Abdvali is the only Olympian in the host team.

Kazakhstan and Germany complete the line-up in Group A.

Iran are the defending World Cup champions ©Alireza Akbari
Iran are the defending World Cup champions ©Alireza Akbari

In Group B, Azerbaijan's squad features seven members of the team that won the 2015 World Cup, including Rio 2016 bronze medallists Rasul Chunayev and Sabah Shariati.

Azerbaijan has also entered double junior world champion Islam Abbasov, whose surprise win over Russia's Chakvetadze in 2015 lifted them to their first World Cup triumph.

Turkey, who have won three World Cup titles, most recently in 2006, will also challenge in Group B with Rio 2016 bronze medal winner Cenk Ildem and silver medallist Riza Kayaalp among the squad.

Ukraine and Belarus will also contest Group B.

Rio 2016 Olympian Aleksander Chernetski leads the Ukraine squad which also features European Games bronze medal winner Dmitri Pyshkov and a trio of junior European Championships silver medallists in Zhora Abovian, Parviz Nasibov and Artem Matiash.

The top two countries from each group will progress to the final.