Al Jazira vs Al Gharafa
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 12 February 2018
Kick-off: 16:30 CET
Al Jazira won the championship title in the United Arab Emirates last season, this is how they made it directly to the AFC Champions League group stage, but those… glory days look too distant, as they are only 5th in this season’s championship, 16 whole points(!) behind leaders Al Ain, and even 10 behind third-placed Al Wasl. Only six matches are left, so their chances of finishing in the top-3 (to play AFC CL football in 2019 as well) look very limited. Their only real chance is to win the President’s Cup. They are in the quarterfinals, so they still need to win three games there to lift the trophy and be in the AFC CL next season as well. Last Wednesday they drew 1-1 at leaders Al Wasl, but that was rather… too little too late. This is their 10th appearance in the AFC CL. Last season they had two draws and four defeats in the group stage, failing big.
Al Gharafa’s case in an interesting one; they were in the AFC CL playoffs despite finishing 5th in Qatar’s championship last season. El Jaish, the ones who finished fourth, joined forces with Lekhwiya, they are now called Al Duhail, a spot was left vacant, and Al Gharafa were called to fill that in. So they did, very successfully. They beat Pakhtakor 2-1 at home 10 days ago, in their playoff, a big success, as the Uzbekistan side are among the most… familiar names in the AFC Champions League. It was their 14th appearance in the competition. From the 32 clubs present in the group stage right now, only Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal have as many appearances in the AFC’s biggest club competition. Al Gharafa got thrashed 5-1 at home by Al Duhail in their last Qatar championship match. They are just 6th in the table, with six matches left, 15 whole points behind third-placed Al Rayyan. They are out of the Emir Cup, so… no AFC CL football for them in 2019.
Previous five matches:
Al Wasl vs Al Jazira 1-1
Al Jazira vs Al Dhafra 3-1
Al Nasr vs Al Jazira 1-0
Al Jazira vs Dibba Al Fujairah 2-2
Al Jazira vs Al Wahda 0-2
Al Gharafa vs Al Duhail 1-5
Al Khor vs Al Gharafa 1-2
Al Gharafa vs Pakhtakor 2-1
Al Gharafa vs Al Sadd 0-4
Umm Salal vs Al Gharafa 2-4
Al Jazira’s next game is on Thursday, again at home, versus Dibba Al Fujairah (UAE League Cup). Al Gharafa are hosting Al Kharitiyath on Friday (Qatar championship).
Al Jazira vs Al Gharafa: Head to head Stats
Al Jazira have hosted Al Gharafa twice before, and are still to beat them. In 2010 they lost 2-1, and a year later they drew 0-0. Both were AFC Champions League group stage matches.
Al Jazira vs Al Gharafa: Prediction
The hosts are considered relatively clear favourites to win, but I don’t see that. I’m backing Al Gharafa to earn at least a draw.
Al Jazira vs Al Gharafa: Betting Tips
Al Gharafa +0.75 asian handicap pays 1.90 betting odds. Draw alone pays 3.60 and feels much more probable than an Al Gharafa win.
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
- 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 Rayyan vs Esteghlal
- 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