Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Hilal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 23 May 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
Esteghlal Khuzestan were rather disappointing on the last day of the group stage, they needed an 86th minute goal to avoid losing to Al Jazira, a team that up until that game had just one draw and four defeats in the group, but, no matter what, they qualified. Actually, they would have qualified even if they had lost. That’s the last game they’ve played, the championship in Iran was over even before they faced Al Jazira, they finished in the seventh place, a very poor result. Keep in mind that this game is being held in Oman, since, as I have mentioned in previous previews during the group stage, teams from Iran and Saudi Arabia are not visiting each other this season in the AFC Champions League, for reasons that have nothing to do with football.
Good times at Al Hilal, fantastic times actually. Two weeks ago they beat Al Rayyan 4-3 away from home, to finish first in the group. A few days earlier, they had celebrated winning the championship title in Saudi Arabia, while after that 4-3 at Al Rayyan they went on to beat Al Taawon and Al Ahli in the semifinal and the final respectively of the King’s Cup, lifting a second trophy in just two weeks. Al Hilal have scored 19 goals in their last five games(!) in three competitions. They haven’t lost a single game since December 26. Generally, in their last 40 games, they have had just three defeats, three, in forty games. Amazingly, all three have been at home(!).
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Hilal: Head-to-head Stats
This is the first time ever Esteghlal Khuzestan and Al Hilal Riyadh play against each other.
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Hilal: Prediction
Playing in Oman, instead of Iran, I really cannot see how can Al Hilal lose this game. Win it? I think they will. They are without doubt a much-much better team, they just finished an awesome season domestically, they topped their AFC Champions League group, and, I repeat, they play at a neutral venue.
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Hilal: Tips
Al Hilal’s win pays 1.80, as already mentioned I do expect them to win, but my main tip for this game is over 2.5 goals, at 2.05. Combining the two, Al Hilal and over 2.5, you get 3.00. Obviously it’s riskier than a simple Al Hilal win, but I feel it’s a risk worth taking.