Al Ahli Jeddah vs Al Hilal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 5 August 2019
Kick-off: 18:40 CET
Al Ahli have a new coach. After four years at Persepolis, Croatian Branko Ivankovic accepted the offer of the Saudi Arabian club, thanked the fans in Tehran, and turned page in his career. For weeks, Al Ahli tried to keep Chilean right-back Paulo Díaz, but at the end both Ivankovic and the club admitted that “River are River”. It’s not “any” club that knocked on Al Ahli’s door for the Chilean, it was reigning Copa Libertadores champions River Plate, and the Jeddah side finally agreed. On the other hand, they signed half a dozen players, most of them midfielders. Al Ahli had to beat Pakhtakor on the last day of the group stage to finish in the top two, and that’s what they did. Ironically, Persepolis, led by Ivankovic, were in the same group, and finished last, but just two points behind Al Ahli, and three behind group winners Al Sadd. Al Ahli have not played an official match since May 20, that 2-1 over Pakhtakor.
Just like Al Ahli, Al Hilal have a new coach. Romanian Razvan Lucescu won the Double in Greece with PAOK last season, was still in charge when pre-season started this summer, but just before flying to the Netherlands for their training camp there, he… took off, as Al Hilal proved willing to pay the 2m euros needed for his clause. They offered him an… insane contract, plus, they are a club capable of signing, for example, André Carrillo from Benfica, something that PAOK cannot do. Al Hilal finished first in their group in May (that 2-2 at Al Duhail is their last official game), and second in Saudi Arabia’s championship, just one point behind Al Nassr.
Previous five matches:
Al Ahli Jeddah vs Pakhtakor 2-1
Al Ahli Jeddah vs Al Ittifaq 5-0
Al Faisaly vs Al Ahli Jeddah 1-4
Al Sadd vs Al Ahli Jeddah 2-1
Al Ahli Jeddah vs Persepolis 2-1
Al Duhail vs Al Hilal 2-2
Al Hilal vs Al Shabab 3-2
Al Ittifaq vs Al Hilal 0-1
Al Hilal vs Al Ain 2-0
Al Hilal vs Al Taawon 0-2
Both teams’ next game is the return leg of this tie, next week.
Al Ahli Jeddah vs Al Hilal: Head to head Stats
Just one win for Al Ahli, three for Al Hilal, and a draw, in the last five games between these two with Al Ahli as hosts.
Al Ahli Jeddah vs Al Hilal: Prediction
Al Hilal are given a slight advantage to win the game, but I wouldn’t bet on that. Al Ahli won all three home games in the group stage, and Al Hilal only one of the three on the road.
Al Ahli Jeddah vs Al Hilal: Betting Tips
Al Ahli’s win in “draw no bet” is at 1.95. Their double chance is not paying more than 1.55, but goes up to 2.22 if combined with “under 3.5 goals”.