Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Jazira
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 9 May 2017
Kick-off: 17:30 CET
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Jazira: Preview
Esteghlal Khuzestan are one small step away from qualifying for the last 16. They are hosting the weakest team of the group, and they don’t even need to beat them, a draw is enough to secure them a ticket to the next stage. If they and Al Fateh finish with nine points each, the Iranians have the advantage, because they have four points in the two matches against Al Fateh. Actually, if the Saudis fail to beat Lekhwiya away from home, in the game that will be played simultaneously with this one, Esteghlal will qualify even if they lose, no matter how improbable that looks. The key result for the Iranians was their 1-1 draw at Al Fateh (actually in neutral Doha) two weeks ago. Esteghlal won 2-1 at Saba Qom last weekend, but those three points didn’t help them finish higher than seventh in the championship, far behind the top three and the tickets that lead to next season’s Champions League.
Al Jazira will be crowned UAE champions next weekend, they are 11 points above second-placed Al Wasl, but in the Champions League they were a total flop this season. Four defeats, one draw, just two goals for them, ten against them, these are numbers that give Al Jazira the title of ‘one of the worst performing teams in the group stage’. At least they know they will compete in next season’s Champions League as well, unlike their Iranian opponents. Their last game was almost a week ago, at home, against Al Nasr, they beat them 1-0, their fifth consecutive championship win, and, their fifth consecutive clean sheet.
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Jazira: Head-to-head Stats
Esteghlal Khuzestan beat Al Jazira 1-0 earlier this season away from home. That was the first time these two faced each other.
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Jazira: Prediction
One way or another, Esteghlal should win, but their victory pays too little. I expect Al Jazira to play freely, so this should help make this an over 2.5 goals game. Domestically, Al Jazira have been awesome, defensively, but in their five Champions League matches they have conceded ten goals, double than what the other three group teams have.
Esteghlal Khuzestan vs Al Jazira: Tips
Esteghlal Khuzestan’s win pays just 1.36. Over 2.5 goals is at 1.72. A win of the hosts in an over 2.5 goals game doubles your money.