Al Rayyan vs Esteghlal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 13 February 2018
Kick-off: 16:10 CET
Al Rayyan earned the last direct ticket to the AFC Champions League group stage from Qatar, finishing third in last season’s championship. That’s their position in the ongoing campaign as well, six matches before the end of the season. They are seven points behind leaders Al Duhail, and five behind second-placed Al Sadd, to whom they lost last Thursday, 2-0, at home. It was a result that pretty much ended their hopes of winning the championship title, turning their attention to retaining that third position they are holding at the moment. This is their eighth appearance in the AFC CL. Last season they picked up seven points from their six group matches, but failed to make it to the last 16. Four of those seven points were earned against another team from Iran, Persepolis.
Esteghlal finished second last year in Iran’s championship, securing themselves a direct ticket to the AFC Champions League group stage. This season has been very different though. Seven game weeks before the end, they are sitting no higher than 6th in the table, 19(!) whole points behind leaders Persepolis. Still, they are just three points behind Zob Ahan and Foolad, who share the second spot. Ten days ago they lost to Zob Ahan, a result that hurt their chances of finishing in the top-3, but last Thursday they bounced back beating Sepidrood Rasht 3-0. This is their ninth appearance in the AFC CL. Last season they started their group stage campaign losing, but ended up qualifying for the last 16. They even beat Al Ain 1-0 in the first leg, but got butchered 6-1 in the return leg, a… nightmare, much more than a “simple” elimination.
Previous five matches:
Al Rayyan vs Al Sadd 0-2
Al Markhiya vs Al Rayyan 1-3
Al Duhail vs Al Rayyan 3-3
Al Rayyan vs Al Kharitiyath 4-2
Al Rayyan vs Al Khor 3-0
Esteghlal vs Sepidrood Rasht 3-0
Zob Ahan vs Esteghlal 2-1
Sanat Naft vs Esteghlal 1-2
Esteghlal vs Pars Jam Bushehr 4-0
Padideh Khorasan vs Esteghlal 0-0
Al Rayyan’s next game is on Friday, again at home, versus Al Sailiya (Qatar championship). Esteghlal are hosting Al Hilal next Tuesday, an AFC Champions League match.
Al Rayyan vs Esteghlal: Head to head Stats
Al Rayyan hosted Esteghlal three years in a row, starting in 2012. Back then, they lost 1-0. A year later they earned a 3-3 draw, and last but not least, in 2014 they beat Esteghlal 1-0. All three were AFC Champions League group stage matches).
Al Rayyan vs Esteghlal: Prediction
Al Rayyan are given a slight advantage to win, but I’m putting my trust in Esteghlal to return to Tehran with at least a point.
Al Rayyan vs Esteghlal: Betting Tips
Esteghlal’s double chance pays 1.54. Draw alone, which I consider much more probable than an Esteghlal win, pays 3.20.
More AFC Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Lokomotiv Tashkent vs Al Wahda
- Tractor Sazi vs Al Ahli Jeddah
- Al-Duhail vs Zob Ahan
- Al Jazira vs Al Gharafa
- Melbourne Victory vs Ulsan Hyundai
- Kawasaki Frontale vs Shanghai SIPG
- Jeonbuk Motors vs Kashiwa Reysol
- Tianjin Quanjian vs Kitchee
- Persepolis vs Nasaf Qarshi
- Al Wasl vs Al Sadd
- Al Hilal vs Al Ain
- Sydney FC vs Suwon Bluewings
- Guangzhou Evergrande vs Buriram United
- Kashima Antlers vs Shanghai Shenhua
- Jeju United vs Cerezo Osaka