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AFC Champions League (West) Semi-final: Sublime Strikers (updated)


Doha: The 2020 AFC Champions League (West) reaches its climax on Saturday as Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr FC and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis lock horns at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium with a place in the final at stake.

Ahead of Saturday’s semi-final clash, the-AFC.com takes a statistical look at key players for Al Nassr and Persepolis in defence, midfield and attack. Having compared defenders and midfielders from Al Nassr and Persepolis, we conclude with the two men most likely to get on the scoresheet.

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Abderrazak Hamdallah - Al Nassr

Very few players have achieved the status of club icon at Al Nassr since the retirement of legendary striker Majed Abdullah in 1998, but in Hamdallah, the Al Nassr faithful have found a goalscorer like no other in the Saudi Pro League.

Hamdallah has won the Saudi Pro League top scorer award in each of his two seasons in Riyadh since joining from Al Rayyan. And the Moroccan could end the 2020 AFC Champions League (West) as top scorer too, a position he currently holds with six goals, two more than the man we compare him to in this article.

Against Al Ahli, Hamdallah failed to find the back of the net for the first time after a nine-match scoring run, a joint AFC Champions League record.

The Moroccan striker remains a dominant presence inside opposition penalty areas, his 17 shots from inside the box are the highest in the competition, while his 42 duels won are second highest amongst strikers, only Pakhtakor’s Dragan Ceran (59) has more.

2020 AFC Champions League (West): Quarter-finals Review

Bashar Resan - Persepolis

In the absence of striker Isa Al Kasir who was banned for six months for violation of Article 58.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code, attacking midfielder Bashar Resan is set to be coach Yahya Golmohammadi’s main attacking outlet against Al Nassr.

The Iraqi international playmaker arrived at Azadi Stadium in 2017 on the back of an impressive AFC Cup campaign in which he guided Air Force Club to the 2017 title. Since then, Resan has grown to become a mainstay of Persepolis’ starting XI and a key creative element of the side that went on to reach the 2018 AFC Champions League final.

No Persepolis player made more passes in opposition half than Resan’s 246, and the number five ranks second for both chances created (9) and passes ending into the final third (132). Excluding the suspended Al Kasir, Resan ranks second in terms of shots attempted (7) and with a goal and assist to his name in the 2020 AFC Champions League, all eyes will be on him to find a way through for the Iranian side.

Poll ends at 23:00 (UTC +8) on October 3.

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