Kuala Lumpur: Excitement is building ahead of the 2019 AFC Champions League final as Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal take on Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds for the second time in three years.
Despite struggling in the J.League, Urawa are aiming to become the first side to win the competition three times, while Al Hilal – seeking their first AFC Champions League title – will be desperate to avoid becoming the first three-time runners-up.
Ahead of the first leg at Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium, the-AFC.com has picked out five things to look out for in Asian football’s biggest club match of the year.
Preview - Final, 1st Leg: Al Hilal SFC (KSA) vs Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Riyadh: A repeat of the 2017 AFC Champions League final sees Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal host Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the decider on Saturday.
Two years ago, the two sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at King Fahd International Stadium, before Urawa snatched a 1-0 victory in the return leg in Saitama to lift the AFC Champions League trophy for the second time in their history.
Al Hilal have since moved base to King Saud University Stadium, where they welcome the Japanese side with both teams eyeing a result that can make their job less complicated when they lock horns again in two weeks' time.
Riyadh: It will be a fearless Al Hilal SFC that will take to the King Saud University Stadium for the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final on Saturday.
Awaiting them will be two-time winners Urawa Red Diamonds, who denied Al Hilal their maiden AFC Champions League title in 2017, but head coach Razvan Lucescu said desire, not fear, is what the Saudi Arabia club will take into the final.
We owe it to our fans to perform, says Urawa's Otsuki
Riyadh: Urawa Red Diamonds are determined to win the 2019 AFC Champions League title on home soil and that desire, said head coach Tsuyoshi Otsuki, will bring the best out of his players in Saturday's first leg of the final against Al Hilal SFC.
While braced for a tough 90 minutes at the King Saud University Stadium, Otsuki said Urawa have been focused on producing a good performance in the first leg since qualifying for the final.
Riyadh: Al Hilal SFC continue to chase the ever-elusive AFC Champions League title as they host Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the 2019 final.
Nearly two decades since their last Asian triumph, Al Hilal are in the final for the third time after 2014 and 2017, and whether they have been part of the last two attempts, - one of them, or have recently joined the side, all the Al Hilal players know their names will be immortalised should they bring home the much coveted trophy.
Ahead of Saturday’s first leg at Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium, the-AFC.com has selected three players who could be key to their side’s chances of finally assuming the Continental throne.
Kualu Lumpur: Urawa Red Diamonds are targeting an unprecedented third AFC Champions League title when they come up against Al Hilal in the 2019 final.
Just as the class of 2007 did 12 years ago and, indeed, many of the current generation repeated in 2017, those that take to the field in the two games will be aiming to add their names to Urawa folklore.
Ahead of Saturday’s first leg at Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium, the-AFC.com has selected three players who could be key to their side’s chances of being crowned kings of Asia once more.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2019 AFC Champions League final between Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds is drawing ever closer, with the first leg set to take place in Riyadh on Saturday.
It has been well documented that the tournament’s 10-goal leading scorer Bafetimbi Gomis of Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds’ Shinzo Koroki (eight goals) are battling out for the top scorer accolade, but there are plenty more interesting numbers across the pitch.
Ahead of the first leg of the showpiece event at King Saud University Stadium, the-AFC.com has picked out 10 stats and facts to whet your appetite.