Must-win match with Ulsan will be like a final, says Wang Shenchao
Shanghai: Shanghai SIPG defender Wang Shenchao has admitted making the 2019 AFC Champions League's Round of 16 is of vital importance ahead of their crucial Group H clash against Ulsan Hyundai on Tuesday.
Since they first appeared in the AFC Champions League in their maiden tournament in 2016, Shanghai SIPG have reached at least the Round of 16 in all three Continental campaigns.
However, failure to win against unbeaten Group H winners Ulsan, coupled with a Kawasaki Frontale win away at Sydney FC, would see that proud record end. And so, China PR international Wang Shenchao is well aware of the significance of the tie at Shanghai Stadium.
Kuala Lumpur: The final qualification places for the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 will be decided in the coming days as the Matchday Six games promise to throw up some intriguing contests.
Four knockout round berths remain up for grabs in the East Zone while just one spot is still available in the West. Ahead of the final set of group stagefixtures, the-AFC.com has chosen five things to look out for.
Preview - Group H: Shanghai SIPG FC (CHN) v Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR)
Shanghai: Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG have their 2019 AFC Champions League destiny in their hands on Tuesday with the visit of Group H winners Ulsan Hyundai of Korea Republic.
A clash between two of the most in-form teams in East Asia is set to bring a worthy conclusion to Group H when K-League table-toppers Ulsan are hosted by China PR's second-placed side Shanghai SIPG.
The hosts are currently on a 10-match unbeaten run across all competitions, with their last defeat coming on April 5 against Chongqing Lifan. They have only suffered one loss on the Continent this campaign, too, although that was against Tuesday's opponents Ulsan.
Their target is clear: a win over their Korean visitors and they will guarantee qualification to the Round of 16. A draw or even a defeat would be enough should Kawasaki Frontale fail to win away at Sydney FC, but the team will surely wish to avoid such a nervous conclusion to the match at Shanghai Stadium.
Preview - Group G: Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN) v Beijing FC (CHN)
Saitama: Qualification for the 2019 AFC Champions League knockout rounds is on the line when Urawa Red Diamonds host Beijing FC at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.
With the sides currently locked on seven points apiece in Group G, Urawa sit just above Beijing by virtue of goal difference and would advance with a win or a goalless draw, after the first meeting between the pair ended 0-0 on Matchday Two.
But, in a group that looks likely to be decided by fine margins, the visitors would seal the second qualification berth – behind group winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors – should they manage a score draw or better in Japan.
Preview - Group H: Sydney FC (AUS) v Kawasaki Frontale (JPN)
Sydney: Japan's Kawasaki Frontale face a must-win match against recently crowned A-League Grand Final winners Sydney FC in Group H of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Already eliminated from the 2019 AFC Champions League, but winners of the Grand Final against Perth Glory on Sunday, it has been a rollercoaster few months for Australia's Sydney FC.
It will surely be a party atmosphere at Jubilee Stadium when the Sky Blues take to the field to celebrate their domestic title in front of their home fans, but there is also the matter of the final Group H tie of the 2019 campaign against visitors Kawaski.
The J.League side will be out spoil the festivites and hope they are the ones receiving the adulation of their supporters after securing a place in the Round of 16.
Preview - Group G: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC (KOR) v Buriram United (THA)
Jeonju: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Buriram United will round off their 2019 AFC Champions League Group G campaigns when they meet at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Tuesday.
Two-time champions Jeonbuk have already confirmed their place in the last 16 as group winners while Buriram’s chances of reaching the knockout rounds were ended following a 2-1 defeat to Urawa Red Diamonds two weeks ago.
But hosts Jeonbuk, who beat Beijing FC 1-0 a fortnight ago to seal their progression and have won four of their five games, will be looking for revenge after suffering a 1-0 defeat in Buriram on Matchday Two.