0804 GMT April 03, 2020
Iranian sides Shahr Khodro and Esteghlal will be after their first victories at the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage when they take on Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor and Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia respectively on Monday.
Farhad Majidi’s Esteghlal heads into the Group A fixture at Kuwait City’s Jaber al Ahmed International Stadium on the back of a first-day 1-1 draw against Iraqi side Al Shorta.
Tehran’s Blues will have to do without their striking duo for Monday’s game as both Mehdi Qaedi and Malian Cheick Diabaté are ruled out with injuries.
The Saudi side also settled for a 1-1 draw on Matchday One against the UAE’s Al Wahda.
Al Ahli – currently third in the Saudi league – will hope to bounce back from last Friday’s 2-0 league defeat against Al Wehda.
Meanwhile, in Group B, debutant Shahr Khodro will be facing a daunting task when playing away to Pakhtakor in Tashkent as the Uzbek side has won all of its nine home encounters against Iranian opponents in the competition, keeping five clean sheets in the process.
Mojtaba Sarasiaei’s men fell to a 2-0 loss to defending champion Al Hilal last time out while Pakhtakor beat Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 2-1.