0355 GMT March 19, 2018
Iran’s Persepolis and Tractorsazi go head-to-head against the Emirati oppositions on Matchday Four of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
In Group C, Persepolis squares off against Al Wasl at Dubai’s Zabeel Stadium, seeking a repeat of last-week’s result in Tehran when the Reds claimed a 2-0 victory over the Emirati side, courtesy of two first-half goals by Farshad Ahmadzadeh and Ali Alipour.
Iran’s champion goes into the game, hoping to build on the fine recent form against the teams from the UAE as Persepolis has won its last five encounters with the Emirati opponents and a sixth successive victory will put Branko Ivankovic’s men in pole position of the group before the last two rounds of fixtures against Uzbekistan’s Nasaf and Al Sadd of Qatar.
Persepolis currently sits atop the group table but only leads Al Sadd and Nasaf on goal difference as a tight finish awaits the group with three six-pointers fighting for a knockout berth right through the end.
Meanwhile, Tractorsazi will be looking for its first win in Group A of the competition when hosting Al Jazira at Yadegar-e Emam Stadium, playing in front of the passionate Tabriz fans for the first time during this year’s campaign.
The two sides played out a scoreless draw in their first meeting a week ago in what was Tractorsazi’s first point of a campaign following two defeats against Al Ahli and Al Gharafa.
But with Al Jazira and Al Gharafa both just three points ahead of Tractorsazi, and Al Gharafa away at group leader Al Ahli, a victory for the Iranian team could put it right back in contention with a last-16 place.
Mohammad Iranpourian returns from suspension for the host, but Al Jazira is without the suspended trio of Ali Mabkhout, Mohamed Jamal and Ahmed al-Hashmi after they picked up their second bookings of the campaign last week.