AFC – AL AIN, Al Ahli will secure their place in the last 16 of the 2018 AFC Champions League and in turn eliminate Tractorsazi Tabriz if the Saudi side defeat their IR Iran opponents at Tahnoun Bin Mohammed Stadium on Tuesday.
Table-toppers Al Ahli are unbeaten in their four group games but have not won since Matchday Two as back-to-back 1-1 draws with Al Gharafa slowed what had previously appeared to be an unstoppable march towards the knockout rounds.
After losing their opening two fixtures, Tractorsazi also secured successive draws against Al Jazira but need to get three points from Tuesday’s game to have any realistic hope of advancing to the next stage.
Both sides go into the tie on the back of domestic defeats, with Al Ahli losing 1-0 to Al Faisaly in the King’s Cup on Friday and Tractorsazi on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline against Zobahan in the Iranian Pro League on the same day.
Al Ahli, though, have never lost against Tractorsazi and boast a strong record against Iranian opposition, while the visitors have won just twice in nine attempts against Saudi sides.