Preview - Group B: Al Jazira FSC (UAE) v Air Force Club (IRQ)
Riyadh: UAE's Al Jazira will be hoping to hit the ground running when they start their AFC Champions League™ 2022 Group B campaign against Air Force Club of Iraq at the King Fahd International Stadium on Friday.
Marcel Keizer's side come into the tie with confidence following their good form in the UAE Pro League - having an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions, while Air Force Club will be eager to make a positive start.
Preview - Group B: Mumbai City (IND) v Al Shabab (KSA)
Riyadh: Mumbai City are raring to kick start their maiden AFC Champions League™ 2022 campaign with the Indian side facing Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia in Group B at the King Fahd International Stadium on Friday.
The 2021 Indian Super League champions will be playing in the AFC Champions League for the first time and have never gone up against Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab, with both sides looking to make a mark in the competition.
Preview - Group A: Al Hilal SFC (KSA) v Sharjah (UAE)
Riyadh: Head coach Ramón Díaz has warned his team’s rivals that Al Hilal SFC will fight to retain the title ahead of their AFC Champions League 2022™ Group A clash against Sharjah at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium on Friday.
Al Hilal claimed their second AFC Champions League title in three years after defeating Korea Republic’s Pohang Steelers in the 2021 final and the Saudi Arabia giants are determined to kick off their defence with a win against the Emirati club.
Preview - Group A: FC Istiklol (TJK) v Al Rayyan SC (QAT)
Riyadh: Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol and Al Rayyan SC of Qatar will be aiming to kickstart their respective AFC Champions League 2022™ Group A campaigns on a positive note when they clash at the King Fahd International Stadium on Friday.
Istiklol, the 10-time Tajikistan champions, are targeting to better their 2021 achievement of reaching the Round of 16 in their debut appearance in the continental showpiece, while Al Rayyan will be desperate to improve on the two points they earned last time around.
Preview - Group E: Al Sadd SC (QAT) v FC Nasaf (UZB)
Dammam: Two sides that had ruled the continent 11 years ago find themselves face-to-face as 2011 AFC Champions League™ winners Al Sadd SC get their 2022 campaign against 2011 AFC Cup™ champions FC Nasaf in Group E at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium on Friday.
Al Sadd have since reached the semi-finals twice - in 2018 and 2019 - while Nasaf’s last appearance in the AFC Champions League goes back to 2018 and the Uzbek side have never advanced past the group stage in four attempts.
Preview - Group E: Al Wehdat (JOR) v Al Faisaly FC (KSA)
Dammam: Saudi Arabia's Al Faisaly will make their continental debut when they face Jordan's Al Wehdat in Group E of the AFC Champions League™ 2022 at the Prince Mohamed bin Fahad Stadium on Friday.
The 2020-21 Saudi King's Cup champions become the ninth different side from Saudi Arabia to feature in the competition since 2002-03, following in the footsteps of Al Hilal, Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Shabab, Al Ettifaq, Al Nassr, Al Fateh and Al Taawoun.
For Al Wehdat, the clash against the namesakes of their fierce Amman rivals marks the start of their second AFC Champions League campaign. Last year, they picked up one point from their first four matches, before a late resurgence saw them win the last two, but it was too little too late as they finished third in Group D and exited the competition.
AFC Champions League™ 2022 (WEST) - The Asian Stars
Dubai: Since the introduction of the AFC player spot in AFC Champions League squads, clubs across the continent have looked to invest in recruiting the best Asian talent, paving the way for an era of inter-Asian transfers.
With the West matches in AFC Champions League 2022 kicking-off on Thursday, the-AFC.com looks at six key players who could make the difference for their teams in that AFC player spot.
Riyadh: Over the years, the AFC Champions League™ has attracted some iconic names, both from across Asia and beyond, and the latest edition of the competition brings together an unprecedented number of star players.
With the start of the group stage action in the West drawing ever closer, the-AFC.comtakes a look at some of the star names that will be on show in Saudi Arabia.
Santi Cazorla of Al Sadd and Bernard of Sharjah look to make an impact on their second appearance, but each of James Rodriguez, Odion Ighalo, Ever Banega and Toby Alderweireld will be making their debuts for Al Rayyan, Al Hilal, Al Shabab and Al Duhail respectively.
AFC Champions League™ 2022 (WEST) - The Host Cities
Riyadh: For the first time in the AFC Champions League™ history, the centralised group stage will take place across four cities in one country, with Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Buraidah hosting west games between 7th and 27th of April.
Over the past three years, and in an effort to ensure continuity of Asia’s premier club competition despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the AFC held the 2020 edition in a centralised format in Qatar, with the cities of Doha and Al Wakrah hosting the games.
Last year, hosting rights for group stage matches were divided between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and India for the West, while Uzbekistan and Thailand hosted games in the East. Ahead of kick-off of the 2022 edition, the-AFC.com profiles the four host cities of West groups.