Arnautovic will power SIPG's title bid, says Yu Hai
Shanghai: Shanghai SIPG star Yu Hai has backed new signing Marko Arnautovic to play a starring role as Vitor Pereira’s side attempt to claim their first-ever AFC Champions League crown when the Chinese Super League champions’ challenge for the Continental championship resumes against Urawa Red Diamonds next week.
The Austria international signed for SIPG from Premier League side West Ham United in July and has had an immediate impact, scoring four times in six league games.
But his arrival – which saw Brazilian striker Elkeson return to Guangzhou Evergrande – has given Yu and his teammates a confidence and quality boost ahead of their AFC Champions League quarter-final meeting with the Japanese side.
Tokyo: Urawa Red Diamonds’ head coach Tsuyoshi Otsuki is hoping his side can take inspiration from the club’s 2017 AFC Champions League-winning campaign to see off Shanghai SIPG as the J.League side attempt to take another step towards a record third Continental crown.
Urawa, who won last season’s Japan's Emperor’s Cup to qualify for the 2019 AFC Champions League, face Vitor Pereira’s side in the first leg of their last eight clash in Shanghai on August 27 knowing the last 18 months have been a difficult period for the two-time champions.
In the season-and-a-half since Urawa captured their second AFC Champions League – which came a decade after their first – the club has experienced significant upheaval.
Kuala Lumpur: The four remaining places in the 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-finals were confirmed last week after the conclusion of the Round of 16 in the West.
The competition will resume in just over a week's time as the eight remaining sides continue their quests to be crowned Continental champions, but before looking ahead to the latter stages, take a look back at the-AFC.com's Week in Numbers.
Riyadh: Al Hilal SFC head coach Razvan Lucescu admitted his side were not at their best in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat to rivals Al Ahli Saudi FC in the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16.
Abdulfattah Asiri’s 42nd minute strike was the difference at the final whistle at King Saud University Stadium, but a 4-2 victory in Jeddah a week earlier ensured Al Hilal progressed to the quarter-finals for the seventh time in their history.
Doha: Al Sadd head coach Xavi expressed his delight after the Qatar Stars League champions sealed a place in the 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Al Sadd saw off the challenge of Qatar rivals Al Duhail, scoring a 3-1 win in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie to advance 4-2 on aggregate.
Strikes by Akram Afif, Abdelkarim Hassan and an own goal by Ahmed Yasser secured Al Sadd the win but Spain and Barcelona legend Xavi said it was a team effort that took Al Sadd to a quarter-final tie against Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr.