News ID: 190490
Published: 0712 GMT April 08, 2017

West Zone sides enter CL day four amid hopes, fear

West Zone sides enter CL day four amid hopes, fear

After taking a three-week break at the midway point of this season's AFC Champions League (CL) group stage, the 16 remaining West Zone teams return for Matchday four and a crucial round of fixtures that kicks off tomorrow.

Group B

 

Lekhwiya (QAT) vs. Esteghlal Khuzestan (IRN)

Venue: Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha

Kickoff: April 10, 18:30 UTC+3

 

Al Jazira (UAE) vs. Al Fateh (KSA)

Venue: Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Kickoff: April 10, 1945 UTC+4

 

The top two sides in Group B will go head-to-head tomorrow as Esteghlal Khuzestan travels to Lekhwiya, while third-placed Al Fateh will look to close the gap on the leader when it faces bottom side Al Jazira, the-afc.com reported.

Iranian champion Esteghlal Khuzestan has yet to lose on the continent but will face its toughest task yet in Doha, where it meets another unbeaten side in Lekhwiya after the pair drew 1-1 three weeks ago.

Al Fateh secured a first-ever AFC Champions League victory by seeing off Al Jazira 3-1 last time out and will know a win in Abu Dhabi would put it in a strong position with two group games remaining, while defeat for Al Jazira would confirm its elimination.

 

Group D

 

Persepolis (IRN) vs. Al Rayyan (QAT)

Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran

Kickoff: April 10, 19:00 UTC+4:30

 

Al Hilal (KSA) vs. Al Wahda (UAE)

Venue: Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh

Kickoff: April 10, 20:00 UTC+3

 

Group D is shaping up to be a three-way battle for the top two positions as just two points separate table-topper Al Rayyan and third-placed Persepolis, while Al Wahda props up the standings and is in desperate need of a win against second-placed Al Hilal.

After suffering a 3-1 defeat to Al Rayyan three weeks ago, Persepolis will host the Qatari side in the reverse fixture tomorrow knowing that victory, this time out, would see it leapfrog its opponents.

Al Wahda travels to Riyadh to face Al Hilal on the back of picking up its first point in Group D with a 2-2 draw against the Saudi side in mid-March and will be aware that anything but a win would all but end its continental campaign.

 

Group A

 

Lokomotiv (UZB) vs. Esteghlal (IRN)

Venue: Lokomotiv Stadium, Tashkent

Kickoff: April 11, 16:00 UTC+5

 

Al Taawoun (KSA) vs. Al Ahli (UAE)

Venue: King Abdullah Stadium, Buraidah

Kickoff: April 11, 19:05 UTC+3

 

After moving into pole position in Group A with a 2-0 victory over Lokomotiv three weeks ago, Esteghlal will look to at least maintain its two-point lead at the top the standings ahead of the return fixture in Tashkent on Tuesday.

Lokomotiv currently props up the table but would move level with its opponent if it could make it two home wins from two in the continental competition.

Elsewhere, Al Taawoun and the UAE’s Al Ahli are on four points apiece after the pair played out a scoreless draw in Dubai in mid-March and both will be aiming to solidify a top-two position ahead of the return clash in Buraidah.

 

Group C

 

Finally in the West, top spot is up for grabs in Group C as 2016 AFC Champions League runner-up Al Ain hosts Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli on Tuesday with the Emiratis currently two points adrift of their table-topping opponent.

The sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Jeddah last month as both remained unbeaten at the midway point of the group stage.

Hot on it heels is Zob Ahan Esfahan, which won 2-0 at Bunyodkor on Matchday three and would give itself a real chance of progressing to the knockout stage by completing a double over the Uzbek side, which could reignite its slim last 16 hopes with victory.

Zobahan (IRN) vs. Bunyodkor (UZB)

Venue: Foolad Shahr Stadium, Isfahan

Kickoff: April 11, 20:00 UTC+4:30

 

Al Ain (UAE) vs. Al Ahli (KSA)

Venue: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain

Kickoff: April 11, 19:35 UTC+4

   
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