AFC Champions League matchday preview

Tuesday's AFC Champions League fixtures:

Kashiwa Reysol (3) v Suwon Samsung FC (2)
Beijing Guoan (1) v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1)
Lekhwiya (2) v Al Sadd (1)
Al Hilal (0) v Persepolis (1)

Kashiwa Reysol (3) v Suwon Samsung FC (2)

Kashiwa will head into the second leg of their tie with Suwon feeling confident after securing victory and three potentially crucial away goals. 

Tatsuma Yoshida's side were forced to qualify for the group stages of the competition, and have defied expectations, suffering just one defeat thus far in continental action, a run that is in stark contrast to their form in the J-League where they are languishing in 13th spot in the standings.

Suwon will be hoping to feel the benefits of playing on home soil when they turn out at the Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium on Tuesday.

The South Korean outfit were not in action over the weekend, and as such coach Seo Jung-won should have a well-rested squad at his disposal as they look to keep their continental campaign alive.

 

Beijing Guoan (1) v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1)

Having gone undefeated in their last seven games in all competitions, Beijing Guoan will be backing themselves to secure their spot in the last eight.

Gregorio Manzano's side claimed a vital away goal in their first-leg draw, and are just one win away from a historic maiden berth in the quarter-finals.

Jeonbuk will have to win on the road without the services of midfielder Han Kyo-won who is serving a suspension after receiving a straight red card against Incheon United on Saturday. Choi Kang-hee's side currently top the K-League table and have gone undefeated in their last seven matches.

Lekhwiya (2) v Al Sadd (1)

Al Sadd may head into Tuesday's clash looking to overturn a first leg deficit, but they carry a lot of positive momentum into the encounter.

Lhoussaine Ammouta's side claimed victory in the final of the Emir’s Cup on Saturday, beating Al Jaish 2-1, and Ammouta will be able to call upon Jasser Yehia once more, with the midfielder having completed the suspension that saw him miss the first leg, while Khalfan Ibrahim could feature after being sidelined by a hip injury.

Lekhwiya boss Michael Laudrup will be without midfielder Luiz Junior who was sent off late on in the first leg, but that is the Dane's lone selection issue.

Having seen off Al Sadd to take top honours in the Qatar Stars League, Lekhwiya will feel confident of repeating their quarter-final appearance of 2013.

Al Hilal (0) v Persepolis (1)

Last season's AFC Champions League runners-up Al Hilal find themselves in a tricky make-or-break situation as they host Persepolis on Tuesday needing to overturn a first leg defeat.

It's not just the deficit that will have coach Giorgos Donis sweating though, with the Greek tactician without the services of striker Georgios Samaras due to a back injury, while midfielder Thiago Neves is doubtful as he struggles to shake off a knock. To make matters worse, Salman Al Faraj is suspended after being sent off in the first leg, while Nassir Al Shamrani's long-term suspension continues.

Persepolis have injury absentees of their own and will have to do without midfielders Gabriel and Mehrdad Kafshgari, with the pair having also missed the first leg of the tie.

While Persepolis will be buoyed by their first leg victory, coach Branko Ivankovic has cautioned against complacency despite their hosts missing key personal, with the Saudi Arabian outfit unbeaten on home soil thus far in the competition.

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