Wednesday's Round of 16 clash pits two of West Asia's biggest clubs against one another, although the Tigers have a great recent history in the ACL, in direct contrast to Piroozi
Hazzazi, Asseri, Al Muwallad, Al Montashari
Kariri, Abd Rabo
Aliasgar, Nosrati, Sheys Rezaei, Pooladi
Gholamreza Rezaei, Noori, Karimi
Al Ittihad boss Raul Caneda has a strong side to choose from for this clash and it is likely he'll favour a 4-2-1-2-1 line-up with livewire Naif Hazazi at the top. The Tigers finished the group stage in top spot in Group B with a last-gasp 3-2 win over Al Arabi, with Moroccan attacker Abdelghani Faouzi scoring a stoppage-time winner. He's likely to be part of their attacking trio, alongside highly-rated Mohammed Noor and Hazazi too.
Persepolis have a few concerns with fitness worries for star attacker Ali Karimi, as well as full-back Mehrdad Pooladi and midfielder Saman Aghazamani, however it seems only the latter will miss the game. The team, who finished the 2011-12 Iranian season down in 12th, arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday but there remains talk of internal problems among the players and coach Mustafa Denizli.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Al Ittihad have a fine ACL history having won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, while they were runners-up in 2009 and reached the final four in 2011.
- The Tigers' last piece of major silverware was back in 2010, when they lifted the Saudi Champions Cup. They haven't been domestic champions since 2009.
- In last year's ACL, these two sides were grouped together, with Al Ittihad winning 3-1 in Jeddah, while Persepolis triumphed 3-2 in Tehran.
- Persepolis may be one of Asia's best supported clubs but they have an underwhelming record on the continent, having never reached the decider before, while city rivals Esteghlal are four-time finalists.
- The Tehran giants reached consecutive Asian Club Championship semi-finals in the 1999-00 and 2000-01 editions, but under the current Champions League format have struggled with last year's Round of 16 effort their best in recent history.
- Piroozi coach Mustafa Denizli guided PAS Tehran to the ACL quarter-finals in 2005.