Al Sadd up against Al Ahli first in AFC Champions League


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A repeat of last year’s Round of 16 fixture sees Qatar’s Al Sadd travel to Jeddah to play Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli in their AFC Champions League Group D opener on Tuesday, 5th March. The kick-off is at the King Abdullah Stadium at 20:15.

Al Sadd had come away from Jeddah with a 2-1 win which ultimately helped them seal a 4-3 aggregate result and advance to the quarterfinals.

Al Ahli, whose best continental performance was reaching the final in 2012, return for the third time in four years, having finished second in the Saudi Pro League. Meanwhile, this will be Al Sadd’s sixth consecutive continental participation.

Iran’s Persepolis and Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor are also in Group D.

Qatar’s Al Duhail and Al Sadd directly qualified for the group stage of this year’s tournament by virtue of having finished as winners and runners-up of 2017-18 season QNB Stars League.

Al Sadd will be keen to storm into the final of this year’s competition, having lost out to Persepolis on aggregate last time around.

The Wolves, who currently top the QNB Stars League table, are in high spirit. They beat Qatar SC 8-1 in a Week 18 match on 28th February.

Al Sadd have a lethal attacking trio of Algerian Baghdad Bounedjah and Qatar internationals Akram Afif as well as Hassan Al Haydous. That is definitely an advantage for them.

Al Sadd’s technical staff, led by Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, has announced the list of players for the Al Ahli match. They are: Saad Al Dossari, Meshaal Barsham, Jihad Mohammad, Boualem Khoukhi, Yasser Abubaker, Hassan Al Haydous, Salem Al Hajri, Akram Afif, Hassan Ahmed, Abdulkarim Hassan, Pedro Miguel, Baghdad Bounedjah, Hamed Ismail, Meshaal Ibrahim, Tariq Salman, Jung Woo-Young, Gaby Fernandez, Hussein Behzad, Ali Asad and Bahaa Al Leithi.