AFC Champions League 2018 Final: First leg preview

Two first-time finalists go head-to-head in the final of the continent's showpiece tournament

Japan's Kashima Antlers are all set to take on Iran's Persepolis in the first-leg tie of the final of the AFC Champions League on Saturday.

Both teams are appearing in the final of the tournament for the first time and will be looking to make history by reigning supreme. 

Both sides won their semifinals in narrow fashion. Kashima got the better of Suwon Bluewings 6-5 on aggregate while Persepolis saw off Qatar's Al Sadd 2-1 over two legs. 

Kashima are looking to make it back-to-back wins for Japan and Persepolis seek a first title for Iran.

Kashima's run to the final has been powered by Serginho who has scored four goals already in the competition and will be the man to watch out for. Young striker Yuma Suzuki will also likely keep the Persepolis backline busy with his industry. 

Ali Alipour is Persepolis' main man up front with five strikes to his name. Keeping him muzzled will be a challenge for the Japanese team's defence. 

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Goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand is also in good form for Persepolis as they overcame some giants on their way to the final.

It points towards a tasty clash on Saturday. 


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