Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2017 group stage will see its third matchday get underway on Monday. Groups A & C are first up and let's take a look at what awaits us:-
Al Zawra’a (IRQ) vs Al Jaish (SYR)
Al Zawra’a started their Group A campaign with two successive draws and are faced with no option but to get a positive result when they take on group leaders Al Jaish at home.
With just the group leaders securing automatic qualification to the next stage, Al Zawra’a are in danger of falling further behind against the Group leaders. Al Jaish have been impressive defensively, keeping two cleansheets and doing just enough offensively through Mohammad Hamdoko who has scored two goals for them.
Al Jaish are undoubtedly the favourites for this game but the Iraqi side are tough to beat, as evidenced by their gritty draws so far.
Venue: Grand Hamad stadium, Doha
Kickoff: Mar 13, 18:00 UTC+3
Al Suwaiq (OMA) vs Al Ahli (JOR)
Both Al Suwaiq and Al Ahli face a must-win clash on Monday with both teams struggling to stay afloat in the competition, having only one point each to show for their efforts in the first two rounds.
The Omani side will hope a win in familiar surroundings will reignite their flickering hopes of finishing top in Group A. Al Ahli are also in a similar position and this game promises to be an intense and closely-fought encounter.
Venue: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat
Kickoff: Mar 13, 19:00 UTC+4
Nejmeh SC (LIB) vs Al Muharraq (BHN)
Lebanese side Nejmeh SC are on a high after picking their first win of the campaign in the last round and will be looking to keep the momentum going when they welcome Bahrain’s Al Muharraq for a round three clash.
Al Muharraq are the only winless side in the group and as a result are perilously close to being left behind by their competitors. But it remains to be seen whether they can channel some of the spirit they showed in the last round when they held Al Wehdat to a 1-1 draw.
Venue: Saida Municipal stadium, Saida
Kickoff: Mar 13, 14:30 UTC+2
Al Wehdat (JOR) vs Saham Club (OMA)
Group C leaders Al Wehdat host Oman’s Saham Club on Monday for a round three clash, looking to extend their lead atop the table.
After an opening round win, Al Wehdat were held to a draw by Al Muharraq in the previous round and the Jordanian side will be desperate to get back to winning ways against Saham who fell to a surprise defeat against Nejmeh in the previous round.
Abu Amarah and Al Ghassani will be the key men in this battle for Al Wehdat and Saham Club respectively.
Venue: King Abdullah II International stadium, Amman
Kickoff: Mar 13, 18:00 UTC+2