Al Ain vs Al Hilal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 21 August 2017
Kick-off: 17:50 CET
Al Ain’s biggest problem ahead of this quarterfinal is… the football schedule of their country, the United Arab Emirates. Their championship ended more than three months ago. When they faced Esteghlal in the round of 16 the season in the UAE had just ended, the gap was practically non-existent, so Al Ain went on to triumph against their Iranian opponents, beating them 6-1 at home, after their 1-0 defeat in Tehran. Now… Now no one can really know what Al Ain will look like, in their first official match since May 29. It’s a mystery, but I bet their coach and players would love to have a couple of official games under their belt before hosting Al Hilal.
Riyadh’s Al Hilal, unlike Al Ain, have played two Saudi Arabia championship games the last ten days, winning both, over Al Feiha at home, and then, last Tuesday, at Al Taawon. They conceded a total of four goals(!), but offensively they were excellent, scoring two and four respectively. In the previous round of the Champions League they eliminated Esteghlal Khuzestan (not the famous one that Al Ain played against), from Khuzestan. They beat them twice, by the same score, 2-1, playing both games at neutral venues, since teams from Saudi Arabia and Iran don’t visit each other.
Previous 5 matches:
Al Ain vs Esteghlal Khuzestan 6-1
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Ain 1-0
Al Ain vs Al Ittihad Kalba 2-1
Al Ain vs Bunyodkor Tashkent 3-0
Al Sharjah vs Al Ain 2-4
Al Taawon vs Al Hilal Riyadh 3-4
Al Hilal Riyadh vs Al Feiha 2-1
ES Tunis vs Al Hilal Riyadh 3-2
Al Hilal Riyadh vs Naft Al-Wasat 2-2
Benevento vs Al Hilal Riyadh 1-1
Al Ain’s next game is against Hatta on September 4, at home (UAE League Cup). Al Hilal’s next game is the return leg of this AFC Champions League quarterfinal tie against Al Ain, at home, on September 11.
Al Ain vs Al Hilal: Head to head Stats
In terms of h2h statistics Al Ain have hosted Al Hilal four times in the past, and they have beaten them all four, more recently in 2014, in the AFC Champions League semifinals.
Al Ain vs Al Hilal: Prediction
Al Ain are considered by betting companies favourites to win this home match, but I can’t suggest a victory of a team that hasn’t played a single official match in almost three months. They may end up being fantastic and winning… 3-0, but I just don’t see what qualifies them as favourites after such an endless break. I’m putting my money on Al Hilal not losing, despite having four losses at Al Ain, in four visits there, in the past.
Al Ain vs Al Hilal: Betting Tips
Al Hilal’s double chance pays 1.72, and while not being fantastic, I definitely prefer it to Al Ain’s 2.05.
More AFC Champions League betting tips and predictions: