ACL MD 4: Al Hilal Boosted by Return of Abdullah Otayf against Esteghlal
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Al Hilal will be boosted by the return of star midfielder Abdullah Otayf after a two-month injury layout, the-afc.com wrote.
The Saudi Arabian football team can seal qualification to the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 with a win over Iran’s Esteghlal at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.
Two-time runner-up Al Hilal has reached the knockout stages nine times in the past 10 years, but it was eliminated in the group stage last year.
Coach Zoran Mamic’s men fell to a 2-1 defeat to Esteghlal in Doha two weeks ago, after starting its Continental campaign with back-to-back victories over Al Ain and Al Duhail. Meanwhile, Esteghlal’s win came after an opening day 3-0 reversal at Al Duhail and a 1-1 draw with Al Ain.
Al Hilal’s chances will be boosted by the return of Abdullah Otayf after a two-month injury layout.
Domestically, Esteghlal has won its last two matches to climb up to second in the Iranian Pro League table, five points behind arch-rival Persepolis.
Al Hilal similarly finds itself second in the Saudi Pro League, although just a point behind its own city rival Al Nassr.