Kuala Lumpur: After a memorable victory last year, Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia, will return to defend their AFC Champions League crown when the anticipated group stage begins on Monday.
The three-time Continental club winners, who defeated Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in last season’s final, face group stage debutants Shahr Khodro FC of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Al Wasl Stadium in the UAE at 6.40pm local time.
Also, in Group B, Pakhtakor from Uzbekistan take on Shabab Al Ahli Dubai at the Pakhtakor Stadium in Tashkent.
Kuala Lumpur: With the group stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League kicking off on Monday, the-AFC.com has selected eight young stars to look out for in the coming weeks and months.
From Continental champions to scorers of great goals and title-winning starlets – all of whom are 21 or under – there’s plenty to get excited about with the talent that will be on display during Asia’s biggest club competition.
Kuala Lumpur: As the 32 sides get set to battle it out for the title of Asia's club kings from February 10, goals will be the most valuable currency. The-AFC.com looks at 10 target men who will have eyes on becoming the 2020 AFC Champions League's most prolific.
Al Hilal's Baftembi Gomis earned himself the top scorer award in 2019 with 11 goals. But with several exciting attackers involved in this year's competition, the goals race is set to be even more heated.
Gomis returns but alongside him below are a selection of leading candidates who could take the mantle from the Frenchman in 2020.
Seoul: Spaniard Osmar Barba went from zero to hero on Tuesday for FC Seoul, scoring an own goal before firing home a free-kick to restore the club's two-goal cushion on the way to a 4-1 victory over Malaysia's Kedah FA and a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage.
The 31-year-old spoke exclusively to the-AFC.com following the play-off tie at Seoul World Cup Stadium and he reflected on the match, the importance of playing in the AFC Champions League, his favourite memories from the competition so far, and his hopes for 2020.
Bill relishing debutants Chiangrai United's #ACL2020 challenge
Chiang Rai: Chiangrai United striker Bill admitted he cannot wait to get started ahead of the Thai champions maiden AFC Champions League tie against Australia's Melbourne Victory on Tuesday.
It may have taken him until his 35th year, but veteran striker Bill had arguably the most successful season of his career in 2019 when he fired Chiangrai United past the usual heavyweights in Thailand to the club's first league championship.
Top scoring for the side with 14 goals, the Brazilian and his teammates edged defending champions Buriram United by virtue of a superior head-to-head record and with it earned a debut appearance in the AFC Champions League. The significance of which Bill is only too aware.
Nabbout ecstatic to be back at 'biggest competition in Asia'
Kashima: Melbourne Victory's match-winner Andrew Nabbout expressed his delight at returning to the AFC Champions League following the A-League side's 1-0 win over Kashima Antlers in the play-offs on Tuesday.
Having weathered a Kashima storm in the first half, Melbourne netted the tie's only goal on 54 minutes when Nabbout was on hand to fire home a deflected effort past Kwoun Sun-tae.
Custodian Lawrence Thomas then put on a goalkeeping clinic to deny the 2018 champions as the A-League side held out for a famous victory.