AFC – TEHRAN, Esteghlal will take to Azadi Stadium for the first time in Group D of the AFC Champions League when the table-toppers host Al Ain on Monday.
The Iranian side are the only team to have won a game in the group, having defeated Al Hilal 1-0 on Matchday Two, and they return to home comforts following a commendable 2-2 draw against Al Ain last Tuesday.
Esteghlal twice led through Mame Thiam in the United Arab Emirates but Marcus Berg and a late penalty from Ahmed Kahlil ensured the tie ended level after an entertaining second half in which all four goals were scored.
Al Ain have now drawn all three of their group games and sit third in the standings but behind second-placed Al Rayyan on goal difference alone. A win would propel the Emirati side into the top two and leave them looking good with two games to play.
Mohamed Abdulrahman is available after suspension for Al Ain, who suffered a 1-0 defeat on their previous visit to Azadi Stadium in the first knockout round last year, but ultimately defeated Monday’s opponents 6-1 in the second leg to advance.