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

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Matchday One in Asia's premier club competition offered a lot of goals. What does Matchday Two have in store for us?

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


GROUP A


Al Jazira v Al Gharafa; AFC Champions League

Al Gharafa (QAT) v Tractorsazi Tabriz (IRN): 

The first match in Group A sees Qatar's Al Gharafa take on Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz on Monday. Al Gharafa fell to an opening day defeat to Al Jazira despite star midfielder Wesley Sneijder scoring a goal. They will want to notch a win badly against their Iranian opponents, who are also coming after a defeat in matchday one, at home.

Venue: Thani Bin Jassim Stadium, Al Rayyan
Kick-off: February 19, 18:00 UTC+3

Al Ahli (KSA) v Al Jazira (UAE): 

The second match in the group will see Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli lock horns with UAE's Al Jazira. Al Ahli ran out 1-0 victors over Tractorsazi Tabriz in the opening match of the group and will be buoyed before taking on Al Jazira. Incidentally, the Saudi Arabians are also coming off a 3-2 win and will look to establish early dominance in the group with a win on Monday. 

Venue:  King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah
Kick-off: February 19, 20:10 UTC+3


GROUP B


Al Duhail v Zobahan; AFC Champions League

Zob Ahan ((IRN) v Lokomotiv (UZB): 

In the first game in Group B this week, Uzbek champions Lokomotiv travel all the way to Iran to take on Zob Ahan on Monday. The Iranians capitulated after taking a lead in their opening game against Al Duhail and suffered a loss. They will be looking to put that right against Lokomotiv who will be eager to build on their stunning 5-0 win over Al Wahda on Matchday One. 

Venue: Foolad Shahr Stadium, Isfahan
Kick-off: February 19, 16:00 UTC +3:30

Al Wahda (UAE) v Al Duhail (QAT):

UAE's Al Wahda are up against Qatar's Al Duhail in the second match of their Group B campaign. After a demoralising 5-0 defeat in the opening game, Al Wahda badly need an uplifting performance against Al Duhail. But the Qatari team are a strong outfit and will be the favourites for this clash.

Venue: Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Kick-off: February 19, 18:50 UTC+4


GROUP C


Al Wasl v Al Sadd; AFC Champions League

Nasaf (UZB) v Al Wasl (UAE): 

Uzbekistan's FC Nasaf will be up against UAE's Al Wasl on Matchday Two. Interestingly, both teams are looking to open their accounts after suffering losses on the opening matchday. Nasaf, who were convincingly beaten by Persepolis, will be the underdogs on Tuesday. Neither of the team will want to stay at the bottom of the group. 

Venue: Qarshi Markaziy Stadium, Qarshi
Kick-off: February 20, 18:00 UTC+5

Al Sadd (QAT) v Persepolis (IRN): 

Al Sadd are up against Iran's Persepolis on Tuesday in an intriguing Group C encounter. Both sides are coming into the game after strong performances on the opening weekend. Al Sadd, with former Barcelona midifelder Xavi in tow, will be the favourites though as they look to go clear at the top of the group at such an early stage. 

Venue:  Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: February 20, 18:30 UTC+3


GROUP D


Al Hilal vs. Al Shabab - Saudi Pro League

Al Ain (UAE) v Al Rayyan (QAT): 

All four teams in Group D are tied on points after two draws on Matchday One. As such, Al Ain will be looking to gain three points when Al Rayyan come visiting on Tuesday. After a goalless draw against Al Hilal, they will be hoping to get their shooting boots on against Al Rayyan, who conceded two goals in the opening game against Esteghlal. 

Venue: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick-off: February 20, 19:10 UTC+4

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Esteghlal (IRN) v Al Hilal (KSA): 

Iran's Esteghlal will also be looking to build on their 2-2 draw against Al Rayyan on the opening weekend when they welcome Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal on Tuesday. Al Hilal are yet to score their first goal but will be confident ahead of meeting with a familiar foe in Al Hilal. 

Venue: Seeb Stadium, Seeb
Kick-off: February 20, 19:30 UTC+4

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