AFC – TEHRAN, Esteghlal will look for a strong performance in front of a vocal Azadi Stadium when they welcome Al Ain in the first-leg of the 2017 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Monday.
Esteghlal’s previous appearance at this stage of the competition came back in 2013, after earlier completing home and away victories over Al Ain in the group stage.
Kaveh Rezaei netted three goals as Esteghlal claimed three wins from six to advance to the knockout stage as Group A runners-up, while Omar Abdulrahman scored five and set up five as 2016 AFC Champions League runners-up Al Ain claimed top spot in Group C.
The visitors, who rounded off their UAE League season with a 2-1 victory over Al Ittihad Kalba last weekend, welcome back defenders Ismail Ahmed and Ahmed Barman from suspension. Forward Ali Ghorbani, though, misses out for Esteghlal after his booking on Matchday Six.