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

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

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


GROUP A


AFC Champions League - Al Ahli vs. Al Jazira

Al Gharafa (QAT) v Al Jazira (UAE)

Qatar's Al Gharafa are up against UAE's Al Jazira on Tuesday in a crucial Group A encounter. Both teams are locked on five points each after four games and three points in this game will go a long way towards securing qualification. Al Jazira prevailed 3-2 in a tight clash on home soil when these two teams met earlier in the group. Expect another tight clash this time around. 

Venue: Thani Bin Jassim Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: April 3, 18:30 UTC+3

 

Al Ahli (KSA) v Tractorsazi Tabriz (IRN)

Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli are home to Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz on Tuesday as well. Al Ahli, the group leaders can go through to the next stage with a win over bottom-placed Tractorsazi who need a win to keep themselves in the  group. Should Al Ahli gain a point from their clash with Tractorsazi, a winner in the other match between Al Gharafa and Al Jazira would also see the Saudi side advance.

Venue: Tahnoun Bin Mohammed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick-off: April 3, 20:20 UTC+4
 


GROUP B


Lokomotiv v Al Duhail; AFC Champions League 2018

Zobahan (IRN) v Al Duhail (QAT)

Zobahan welcome Qatar's Al Duhail to Iran for what is a crucial clash for the home side in Group B. Al Duhail have already secured passage to the knockout stages and will not be hard-pressed to go for the kill. Zobahan, placed second in the group can go through if they win and the other game in the group ends in a draw. 

Venue: Foolad Shahr Stadium, Isfahan
Kick-off: April 3, 18:45 UTC+4:30

 

Al Wahda (UAE) v Lokomotiv (UZB)

Al Wahda will be at home to Uzbekistan side Lokomotiv on Tuesday. Both teams have just the three points from four games and need a win desperately. Lokomotiv have suffered three losses in a row and have no choice but to go for the jugular. They will seek inspiration from the 5-0 win they had on matchday one against Al Wahda. 

Venue: Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Kick-off: April 3, 19:10 UTC+4
 


GROUP C


Persepolis v Al Wasl; AFC Champions League 2018

Nasaf (UZB) v Persepolis (IRN)

Uzbekistan's FC Nasaf take on Iran's Persepolis in a crunch clash at home on Monday in Group C. Persepolis have nine points from four games while Nasaf have six points. A win for the Iranians will see them qualify for the knockout stages. Nasaf need a win badly and will look to gain revenge for the 3-0 loss they suffered in the reverse fixture. 

Venue: Qarshi Markaziy Stadium, Qarshi
Kick-off: April 2, 19:30 UTC+5

Al Sadd (QAT) v Al Wasl (UAE)

Qatar's Al Sadd are up against UAE's Al Wasl on Monday. Al Sadd will secure their place in the next round if the Qatari side win and Nasaf fail to take all three points against Persepolis. Against Al Wasl, who have lost all their game, Al Sadd are well placed for three more points. 

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: April 2, 19:00 UTC+3

 

GROUP D


Al Jazira vs. Al Ain - AGL - Arabian Gulf League

Al Ain (UAE) v Al Hilal (KSA)

UAE's Al Ain host Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in a crucial Group D clash on Monday. Al Ain, with four points from four games, badly need a win in a group which is tightly poised. A win would give them a fighting chance of a top-two finish. Last year's runners-up, Al Hilal, realistically need to defeat Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates to have a chance of progression. 

Venue: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick-off: April 2, 19:30 UTC+4

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Esteghlal (IRN) v Al Rayyan (QAT)

Esteghlal play Al Rayyan in another intriguing Group D match on Monday. Both teams have six points from four games and a win on the day for either side will be enough to see them advance to the knockout stage, given that both teams enjoy better head-to-head records over their opponents. 

Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Kick-off: April 2, 20:00 UTC+4:30

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