A historic tie between two Tehran archrivals Persepolis and Esteghlal is on the cards when the draw for the 2018 AFC Champions League is made on Wednesday at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A possible Tehran derby would mark the first occasion these two sides meet in a continental tournament.
The Tehran giants along with Qatar’s Al Sadd and Al Duhail will form two quarterfinal ties in the West Zone while Japan’s Kashima Antlers, Tianjin Quanjian of China and South Korean clubs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Suwon Samsung Bluewings are the four teams who will be in the East Zone pots.
Both Iranian sides have enjoyed a decent run at the competition so far.
Persepolis, having topped Group C, had to go through a late drama at home against the UAE’s Al Jazira in the round of 16 as Seyyed Jalal Hosseini’s late strike in the stoppage time gave Branko Ivankovic’s men a 2-1 victory at the Azadi Stadium after the Iranian champion had suffered a 3-2 first-leg defeat.
Esteghlal, meanwhile, won Group D without a defeat before squaring off against Zob Ahan in an all-Iranian last-16 tie.
Having lost the first leg 1-0, Mame Thiam’s hat-trick in the second leg sent the Blues through to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 aggregate victory.
The first leg of the quarterfinals will be played on August 27-29 with the second-leg fixtures scheduled for September 17-19.