Preview - Group A: Al Wasl FC (UAE) v Al Zawraa Club (IRQ)
Dubai: Pride and an honourable third place finish in Group A are at stake as UAE’s Al Wasl welcome Iraq’s Al Zawraa to Zabeel Stadium on Matchday Six of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Both sides were eliminated on the previous matchday as Zobahan and Al Nassr booked the two Round of 16 tickets from the group.
Al Zawraa’s bright return to the AFC Champions League ended in heartbreak a fortnight ago. The Iraqis looked destined for a 2-1 home win over Zobahan when Reza Habibzadeh struck late in added time to rescue a point for the visitors and consign Hakeem Shaker’s men to early elimination.
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 C: Al Duhail SC (QAT) v Al Hilal SFC (KSA)
Doha: With both sides already through to the next round, Al Duhail welcome Al Hilal to Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium for a heavyweight clash at the top of Group C of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Monday.
The two teams go into the final game of the group stage (also the last of their respective seasons), following contrasting results on the domestic front.
Al Duhail made up for the disappointment of conceding the Qatar Stars League title to rivals Al Sadd by defeating the latter 4-1 in the final to lift the Amir Cup trophy last week.
Al Hilal had a blank season, finishing runners-up to Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League and being eliminated in the semi-finals of the King’s Cup by eventual winners Al Tawoun.
Preview - Group C: Al Ain FC (UAE) v Esteghlal FC (IRN)
Al Ain: Eliminated pair Al Ain and Esteghlal will aim to conclude their season on a positive note when they clash at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Matchday Six of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group C on Monday.
The two teams suffered a disappointing season both domestically and in Asia. Esteghlal watched their arch-rivals Persepolis walk away with the Iranian Pro League title for a third year running while they finished third.
Al Ain, meanwhile, are also third but have a crucial game next week against fifth-placed Al Wahda with a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League at stake.
Monday’s encounter is the ninth between the two Continental giants. In the previous eight match-ups, Esteghlal hold a marginal advantage with three wins, to two Al Ain victories. The last three clashes between the two teams ended in draws.
Preview - Group D: Al Ahli Saudi FC (KSA) v Pakhtakor (UZB)
Jeddah: In the West Zone, only one place in the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 is yet to be decided. It will be directly contested between Al Ahli and Pakhtakor at King Abdullah Sport City on Monday.
With Al Sadd having already booked their ticket to the knock-out stage from Group D, Pakhtakor travel to Jeddah for what is essentially a cup tie against 2012 runners-up Al Ahli.
The Uzbek side sit second in the standings on eight points. A 1-0 victory over Persepolis in the previous matchday eliminated the Iranians from the competition, leaving Pakhtakor in need of one point in Saudi Arabia.
Preview - Group D: Persepolis FC (IRN) v Al Sadd SC (QAT)
Tehran: The famous Azadi Stadium will be home to the last match in the career of Spanish football legend Xavi as Al Sadd face Persepolis on Matchday Six of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group D on Monday.
The former Barcelona midfielder brings to an end a four-year stay in Doha as he prepares to hang his boots following the Persepolis clash, closing the curtains on the final act of a 22-year career which saw him win 32 titles, the last of which was the 2018-19 Qatar Stars League.
In Tehran, a repeat of the 2018 AFC Champions League semi-final between Persepolis and Al Sadd comes under contrasting circumstances, with Al Sadd already qualified and Persepolis eliminated from Group D.
On Monday, the two sides meet for the sixth time in just over a year. Persepolis and Al Sadd were pitted together in Group C last time around. A brace from Baghdad Bounedjah helped Al Sadd to a 3-1 win in Doha on Matchday Two.