Al Ain vs Bunyodkor
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 8 May 2017
Kick-off: 17:40 CET
Al Ain have already qualified for the last 16, they are the only undefeated team in the group, and most probably they will finish undefeated, since they are hosting the weakest side of the group. Interestingly, they haven’t won at home yet, drawing 1-1 to Zob Ahan and 2-2 to Al Ahli. It’s their away wins at Bunyodkor and Zob Ahan that have already guaranteed them a spot in the next stage of the competition. They have three wins in a row in all competitions, having scored an impressive ten goals, but also conceded four. They are sitting fourth in the table of the Arabian Gulf League, one point behind third-placed Al Ahli and two from second-placed Al Wasl, it’s the top three spots that give Champions League tickets, only one game is left this season, Al Ain are hosting lowly Al Ittihad Kalba next weekend, but Al Ahli and Al Wasl have similarly ‘easy’ games, so Al Ain are in serious danger of finishing fourth.
Bunyodkor got Al Ahli in serious trouble by beating them 2-0 two weeks ago, they got their first points in the group stage, and traveled to the UAE without any pressure, since they are already down and out in the Champions League. In their last two games in Uzbekistan’s championship they picked up just one point, continuing their poor performances there. They have just 10 points in eight matches, they have won only twice, and are already nine points behind leaders Lokomotiv. They have kept just one clean sheet in their last nine games, in that super unexpected 2-0 victory over Al Ahli.
Al Ain vs Bunyodkor: Head-to-head Stats
Al Ain beat Bunyodkor 3-2 earlier this season away from home, in the first game ever between these two sides.
Al Ain vs Bunyodkor: Prediction
Al Ain are already in the last 16 of the competition, and next weekend they play a domestic match that they absolutely must win. Will they look concentrated enough in this game against Bunyodkor to win it, as they are expected? Deep down, I think yes, mostly because the difference in the quality between the two teams is really big, and Al Ain do not need to play their best possible game to beat this Bunyodkor, who, either way, have already lost all hope to qualify.
Al Ain vs Bunyodkor: Tips
A simple Al Ain win pays just 1.33. Bunyodkor tend to concede even against weak sides (excluding that… weird 2-0 win over Al Ahli two weeks ago), so I expect the hosts to score enough to make this an over 2.5 goals game, which pays 1.62. A win of theirs in an over 2.5 goals match raises the potential earnings even higher, to more… acceptable levels.