Al Ain vs Esteghlal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 6 March 2018
Kick-off: 16:20 CET
Al Ain know they could and should have done much better against Al Rayyan two weeks ago at home. That 1-1 was not what they were after, playing against a theoretically (and not only) less strong team. Especially after taking the lead (from the penalty spot) just 10 minutes into the game, they should have… taken care of things. They didn’t. A totally unnecessary penalty allowed Al Rayyan to equalise in the 28th minute. Al Ain missed a series of chances, but the score didn’t change. Two points for them from two group matches. On Thursday, they destroyed Al Wahda 6-2 at home, an incredible result, given that it was the first playing against the second in the UAE’s championship. From one point, the gap between them grew to four, just a couple of game weeks before the end of the season.
Two weeks ago I suggested Esteghlal’s double chance (1.74), “under 2.5 combined goals” (1.75), adding that I had a 1-1 hunch, when Esteghlal “hosted” Al Hilal in neutral Oman. The Iranian side did even better than what I expected, winning the game 1-0. Esteghlal were far superior, they were not the team that created more chances, they were the only team that created chances, and the irony of the thing is that the only goal of the match was a lucky own-goal. Things got even better for Esteghlal in the 67th minute when Al Hilal were reduced to 10 men. Four points for them from two ACL group matches. On Thursday, Esteghlal beat leaders Persepolis 1-0, but they are 16 whole points behind them in the table of Iran’s championship, sitting third there. Padovani, an Esteghlal defender, got seriously injured ten days ago, had to undergo a neck surgery, and is ruled out for months.
Previous five matches:
Al Ain vs Al Wahda 6-2
Al Sharjah vs Al Ain 3-1
Al Ain vs Al Rayyan 1-1
Al Wahda vs Al Ain 5-1
Al Hilal vs Al Ain 0-0
Esteghlal vs Persepolis 1-0
Foolad vs Esteghlal 1-4
Esteghlal vs Al Hilal 1-0
Al Rayyan vs Esteghlal 2-2
Esteghlal vs Sepidrood Rasht 3-0
Both teams’ next game is their clash in Iran, next week, with Esteghlal as hosts, obviously an AFC CL match.
Al Ain vs Esteghlal: Head to head Stats
Al Ain have hosted Esteghlal twice before. They lost 1-0 in 2013, in an AFC CL group stage match, but last season they destroyed them 6-1 in the round of 16.
Al Ain vs Esteghlal: Prediction
I’m going against the odds, I’m backing Esteghlal to earn at least a draw.
Al Ain vs Esteghlal: Betting Tips
I’m not impressed by Al Ain thus far in the group, I don’t consider their 1.55 justified, I prefer to bet on Esteghlal’s double chance at 2.30.
More AFC Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Nasaf Qarshi vs Al Sadd
- Persepolis vs Al Wasl
- Al Jazira vs Tractor Sazi
- Al Gharafa vs Al Ahli
- Jeonbuk Motors vs Tianjin Quanjian
- Kashiwa Reysol vs Kitchee
- Buriram United vs Cerezo Osaka
- Guangzhou Evergrande vs Jeju United
- Zob Ahan vs Al Wahda
- Al Duhail vs Lokomotiv Tashkent
- Al Hilal vs Al Rayyan
- Sydney FC vs Kashima Antlers
- Kawasaki Frontale vs Melbourne Victory
- Suwon Bluewings vs Shanghai Shenhua
- Shanghai SIPG vs Ulsan Hyundai