AFC Champions League: Who will the A-League clubs face?

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The 2017 AFC Champions League starts later this month with three A-League clubs involved. But who will Adelaide, the Wanderers and Roar play?

With Brisbane Roar's superb win over Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday night, there are three A-League clubs in the AFC Champions League (ACL) group stage.

For just the third time in history, a trio of Australian clubs will feature in the group stage of Asia's premier continental club competition.

Brisbane have joined A-League champions Adelaide United and last season's beaten grand finalists Western Sydney Wanderers in the ACL proper.

The ACL's group stage begins on February 20 and here's what you need to know about the Reds, the Wanderers and Roar's respective opponents.

Adelaide United

Guillermo Amor's side will have to improve on their inconsistent A-League form to come through a tricky Group H.

As well as J.League heavyweights Gamba Osaka - who Adelaide lost to in the 2008 ACL final - they also face K League outfit Jeju United.

Alex Teixeira Jiangsu Suning Chinese Super League 05032016

China's Jiangsu Suning won't have Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury in their squad after his loan move to Inter but possess plenty of star power in Brazilian duo Ramires and Alex Teixiera.

Kim Jae-sung will give Adelaide the inside word on Jeju - he was on loan there last year - while Amor's men should be relieved they avoided 2016 ACL champions Jeonbuk Motors, who have been banned for K League match-fixing.

Western Sydney Wanderers

The 2014 champions are back in the ACL and arguably face the toughest draw of the A-League clubs in Group F.

K League champions FC Seoul, who the Wanderers have met in their two previous ACL appearances, will provide a stern test.

Ko Kwang-min FC Seoul v Western Sydney Wanderers AFC Champions League 18032015

But Western Sydney will hardly be able to slack off against J.League runners-up Urawa Red Diamonds and the Chinese Super League's third-placed side Shanghai SIPG.

SIPG defeated Thailand's Sukhothai in a play-off this week and will bring Brazilian stars Hulk and Oscar to Campbelltown Stadium in May.

Brisbane Roar

Roar's reward for their huge win over Carlos Tevez and Co. in China is a spot in Group E and they'll fancy their chances of progressing.

Thai League champions Muangthong United are their first opponent later this month and a winning start at home will be vital for Brisbane.

Kashima Antlers J.League 03122016

Japanese double-winners Kashima Antlers should be Roar's toughest test in the group, while the clash against Korea's Ulsan will see John Aloisi's men come up against former team-mate Dimitri Petratos.

Ulsan needed penalties to overcome Hong Kong Premier League club Kitchee and qualify for Group E.

 

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