0640 GMT January 19, 2020
As the group stage of the ACL 2017 now enters its latter stages, Matchday Five is sure to see another pulsating set of fixtures with the 16 teams from the West Zone returning to action tomorrow, the-afc.com reported.
Al Ahli and Zob Ahan Isfahan will book their passages to the knockout phase should they claim away victories at Bunyodkor and Al Ain respectively tomorrow.
Saudi side Al Ahli leads the way in Group C with eight points from four games following back-to-back draws with 2016 runner-up Al Ain. It returns to winning ways against a Bunyodkor team which has yet to register a point on route to an early elimination and its place in the next round is confirmed.
Expect drama in Isfahan as Zob Ahan Isfahan, which moved into second place following successive wins over Bunyodkor, could oust one of the tournament favorite if it defeats Al Ain and Al Ahli is victorious in Tashkent. The Emiratis have now drawn three from four but a second away win of the competition would put them back in the driving seat.
Bunyodkor (UZB) vs. Al Ahli (KSA)
Venue: Bunyodkor Stadium, Tashkent
Kickoff: April 24, 19:00 UTC+5
Zob Ahan Isfahan (IRN) vs. Al Ain (UAE)
Venue: Foolad Shahr Stadium, Isfahan
Kickoff: April 24, 20:30 UTC+4:30
Three teams are battling it out for two qualification spots in Group D as table-topper Al Hilal faces third-placed Persepolis and second-placed Al Rayyan travels to bottom side Al Wahda.
Al Hilal drew 1-1 with Persepolis on Matchday One and will seal its last 16 berth with victory tomorrow, but should Persepolis overcome its Saudi opponent the sides will head into the final round of fixtures in two weeks’ time level on eight points.
If Persepolis fails to defeat Al Hilal, Al Rayyan would also advance with a win, while confirming Al Wahda’s elimination, but anything other than three points could leave the Qatari side in for a nervy Matchday Six.
Al Hilal (KSA) vs. Persepolis (IRN)
Venue: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat
Kickoff: April 24, 19:00 UTC+4
Al Wahda (UAE) vs. Al Rayyan (QAT)
Venue: Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Kickoff: April 24, 19:35 UTC+4
The top two in Group A face off on Tuesday as Esteghlal and Al Ahli of the UAE look to put one foot in the knockout round while Lokomotiv will be eliminated should it suffer a home defeat at the hands of Al Taawoun.
Level on seven points, Al Ahli leads Esteghlal by virtue of a better head-to-head following its 2-1 victory in Dubai earlier in the campaign and a second successive win over its opponent would edge it closer to the round of 16.
Lokomotiv lost 1-0 in Al Taawoun in the first round of group stage matches and will head for an early exit should it suffer the same fate, but win and the 2016 quarterfinalist will have it all to play for on the final Matchday.
Lokomotiv (UZB) vs. Al Taawoun (KSA)
Venue: Lokomotiv Stadium, Tashkent
Kickoff: April 25, 17:00 UTC+5
Esteghlal (IRN) vs. Al Ahli (UAE)
Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Kickoff: April 25, 20:15 UTC+5
Table-topper Lekhwiya will guarantee its progression to the last 16 with a win over bottom side Al Jazira and second-placed Esteghlal Khuzestan will do likewise should it defeat third-placed Al Fateh on Tuesday.
Unbeaten Lekhwiya moved to the top of the standings following its 2-1 win over Esteghlal Khuzestan two weeks ago and now look favorite to advance ahead of a trip to already eliminated Al Jazira.
Al Fateh, meanwhile, remains in the hunt for second place and will leapfrog its Iranian opponent with victory in Doha as Group B moves towards a gripping climax.
Al Fateh (KSA) vs. Esteghlal Khuzestan (IRN)
Venue: Thani Bin Jassim Stadium, Doha
Kickoff: April 25, 18:30 UTC+3
Al Jazira (UAE) vs. Lekhwiya (QAT)
Venue: Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Kickoff: April 25, 20:00 UTC+4