AFC Champions League 2018: Group Stage Matchday Four Preview: West Zone

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AFC Champions League action returns to the West Zone as matchday four gets underway.....

The AFC Champions League 2018 enters Matchday Four in the West Zone on Monday. Here is a look at what awaits us in a crucial week: 


GROUP A


Al Gharafa v Al Ahli; AFC Champions League 2018

Tractorsazi Tabriz (IRN) v Al Jazira (UAE):

The first match in Group A sees Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz host UAE's Al Jazira on Tuesday. The Iranian side are in a tough position, with just one point from three games and another defeat could well put paid to their hopes of progressing further. Al Jazira, with a win and draw so far, will be looking to stake their claim on one of the top two spots with a win away. 

Venue: Yadegar-e Emam Stadium, Tabriz
Kick-off: March 13, 16:00 UTC+3:30

Al Ahli (KSA) v Al Gharafa (QAT):

Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli host Qatar's Al Gharafa on Tuesday. Al Ahli are top of the group and can almost confirm their spot in the next stage with a win over their Qatari opposition. Al Gharafa, meanwhile, after the 1-1 draw between the sides last week will want at least a draw from this fixture. 

Venue: King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah
Kick-off: March 13, 20:15 UTC+4


GROUP B


Lokomotiv v Al Duhail; AFC Champions League 2018

Lokomotiv (UZB) v Al Duhail (QAT): 

Qatar's Al Duhail visit Uzbekistan on Monday to take on Lokomotiv Tashkent. The Qatari side, with nine points from three games, can book their spot in the pre-quarterfinals with a win over Lokomotiv. The Uzbek team badly needs a win with a sole win under their belt so far. But after going down 3-2 in the reverse fixture between the two sides, their morale will be a bit low.  

Venue: Lokomotiv Stadium, Tashkent
Kick-off: March 12, 17:00 UTC+5

Al Wahda (UAE) v Zobahan (IRN):

UAE's Al Wahda play hosts to Iran's Zobahan on Monday in a crucial Group B clash. Zobahan, with six points in their kitty, can put some distance between them and third-placed Lokomotiv with a win while Al Wahda are in last-chance saloon after losing all three games so far. The reverse leg between the sides finished 2-0 in Zobahan's favour. 

Venue: Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: March 6, 18:00 UTC+3


GROUP C


Persepolis v Al Wasl; AFC Champions League 2018

Al Sadd (QAT) v Nasaf (UZB): 

Group C is boiling down with three teams tied on six points and on Tuesday, two of those teams come head-to-head in a crucial clash. Al Sadd host Nasaf FC of Uzbekistan. The Qatari side were defeated in the reverse fixture and will be desperate to win and take charge of this group. A defeat would see either team playing catchup in the final fixtures. 

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: March 13, 18:15 UTC+3

Al Wasl (UAE) v Persepolis (IRN):

UAE's Al Wasl could well be knocked out if they fail to win on Tuesday when they host Iran's Persepolis. After three consecutive defeats, the latest being a 2-0 defeat in the reverse leg in Iran, Al Wasl are desperate. Persepolis, on the other hand, can pick up a very important win and take charge of their own destiny. 

Venue: Zabeel Stadium, Dubai
Kick-off: March 13, 19:15 UTC+4

 

GROUP D


Al Ain v Al Rayyan; AFC Champions League

Al Rayyan (QAT) v Al Hilal (KSA): 

Group D is nicely poised with just three points separating the top team from the bottom team. Al Rayyan, placed second in the group with three points so far, will be looking to get their first win and break free of the melee when they host bottom-placed Al Hilal who have two points. The reverse fixture between the sides finished 1-1. 

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: March 12, 18:15 UTC+3

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Esteghlal (IRN) v Al Ain (UAE):

Iran's Esteghlal, group leaders with five points from three games, will be looking to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack with a win against Al Ain. But the UAE-based side, who drawn all their games so far, will not be an easy nut to crack. Expect a tasty affair!

Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Kick-off: March 12, 19:00 UTC+3:30

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