The current edition of the AFC Champions League is entering in an important moment reaching the quarter-finals phase, as part of the dreams of the qualified teams to win the most important continental title at the level of club. Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr qualified for the quarter-finals in the western region and will meet Iranian Persepolis and Al-Wehda of the United Arab Emirates respectively, while in the eastern region Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea will meet with his compatriot Ulsan Hyundai and Pohang Steelers of South Korea with Nagoya Grampus of Japan. Saturday’s two quarter-finals pave the way for a possible fiery clash between Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr in semifinal. In the West Asian region, the four club have raised the pace of preparations for the two matches on Saturday, which are hosted by the Kingdom, which will also host the semi-final and final of the tournament for the first time on 23 November. Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr will enter the quarter-final matches, with a great opportunity for a fiery confrontation expected between them in semifinal, if they both pass Persepolis and Al-Wehda UAE. How did the four prepare for Saturday’s matches? Al Hilal Il team Al Hilal entered the quarter-finals with the dream of returning to the podium after winning the title of the penultimate edition and is also the holder of the record for the number of titles, shared equally with the South Koreans Pohang Steelers, each with 3 titles. Al-Hilal reached the quarter-finals after defeating Iranian Istiklal in the round of 16 with two goals without match, and first occupied second place in the first round with 10 points, with a goal difference over Tajikistan’s Istiklal Dushanbe. In each edition, Al Hilal is considered one of the most successful candidates in view to snatch the title, for its capabilities and elements in able to achieve the desired results, including Salman Al-Faraj, Salem Al-Dossary, Muhammad Kno and striker Saleh Al-Shehri, as well as French striker Bafetimbi Gomez, Brazilian Matthew Pereira and Malian Moussa Mariga, and other stars. Al-Hilal misses the efforts of Yasser Al-Shahrani, Muhammad Al-Buraik, Abdullah Atif and Andre Carrillo in Saturday’s game, as the team regained its star Salem Al-Dosari. At the league level, Al Hilal dropped to fourth place in the overall standings of late game teams, in as far behind leaders Al Ittihad by 4 points, even if it is the only team that has not lost so far in championship with three wins and one draw. Al-Nasr Al-Nasr managed to reach the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League by defeating Iranian Traktor 1-0 in the round of 16, to successfully continue his path in the competition after taking the lead of the fourth group with 11 points in three wins and two draws against a single defeat against Jordanian Al-Wehdat. Al-Nassr has never won the championship title before, which is what fans of the team have been waiting for in every edition, as “Al-Alame” hopes that the Saudi team will be the third to get on the podium after Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad, who had been crowned twice in precedence. Al-Nasr’s squad roster is full of stars, including Brazilian Anderson Talisca and Cameroonian Vincent Abu Bakr, who have joined the battalion, which is also made up of many prominent stars, such as Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah, Jalal Al-Din Masharipov, Abdulelah Al-Omari, Sami Al-Naji and others who hope in look different in this version. Al-Nasr started his local campaign in different way, winning four games and losing two in Saudi League competition to occupy the position with 12 points with a postpone game, and despite receiving 8 goals in 6 games, Al-Nassr finished second in terms of offensive power by scoring the team. 13 goals so far.Persepolis Last year, Persepolis was one step away from realizing the dream of winning the AFC Champions League, but that vanished against South Korean team Ulsan Hyundai in final, and the Iranian team seeks to use that rich experience to continue its successful career so far in the football event. Persepolis reached the quarter-finals after defeating Istiklal of Tajikistan with a goal in added time thanks to their player Mehdi Tarabi, and they succeeded in the group stage by occupying the top of Group E with 15 points in 5 wins and only one defeat against Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates. The Iranian squad includes a group of prominent players who have marked his career in the past two seasons, including Mahdi Turabi, Kamal El-Din Kamiyabinai and Vahid Amiri, as well as goalkeeper Hamid Lak, who features excellent levels and other elements that would give annoyance to opponents, and Persepolis is looking forward to investing his local successes, considering the Iranian championship champion, who dropped the curtain on his latest edition last July, at the continental competition. Emirati goalkeeper Al Wahda Mohammed Al Shamsi played the league role when he led his team to victory over Sharjah’s penalty shoot-out after halftime and extra-time with a 1-1 draw, becoming one of the his most important stars in the competition so far, accompanied by Syrian Omar Khribin, the team’s top scorer in the competition with 4 Goals and Khalil Al Hammadi. In the group stage, Al Wahda finished second in Group E behind Persepolis after collecting 13 points in four wins, one draw and one defeat, scoring 7 goals against 3 conceded. He left the group stage. Locally, after 6 rounds from the start of the UAE League competition, the level of unity does not meet the aspirations of the fans of the team, which occupies the eighth place with 8 points from a single win and five fights that ended in a draw, as the team hopes to overcome this problem in continental competition, from which it has never won its title. Henk Tin Kat, the unit’s technical director, gave the opportunity to many young elements facing access to the first round of the League Cup, which the team lost to Khorfakkan by three goals to two, in order to determine the readiness of the substitutes for the continental competition after the absence of the main elements in the international stop.
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