Esteghlal vs Al Ain
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 22 May 2017
Kick-off: 18:15 CET
Esteghlal sealed their qualification for the last 16 of the AFC Champions League by beating Al Taawon 2-1 away from home two weeks ago, and, at the same time, paying the 3.25 I had predicted, a win of theirs in a game that would have over 2.5 goals. They haven’t played since then, since the season is over in Iran, they finished second, nine points below champions Persepolis. Esteghlal needed penalties to qualify for the group stage, after failing to beat Al Sadd (0-0). They started their group games losing at Al Ahli, but they have been great since then, winning three games, drawing twice, and scoring in every single match. Especially at home they have just one loss in their last 11 games, winning most of those.
Al Ain had already qualified before beating Bunyodkor 3-0 at home two weeks ago, another prediction you found here (a win of theirs in a game that would have over 2.5 goals) that came good. A few days after that, they beat Al Ittihad Kalba 2-1, again at home, on the last day of their championship. All top three teams won as well though, so Al Ain were left fourth. Following their win over Al Ittihad Kalba, their fifth consecutive in all competitions, they have had more than a whole week to prepare for this match. It’s impressive that Al Ain have scored at least two goals in each and every one of their last nine games in all competitions, even in the three games they didn’t win (they drew 2-2 twice, and they lost 4-3 at Al Wasl).
Esteghlal vs Al Ain: Head-to-head Stats
Esteghlal have hosted Al Ain twice before. In 2003 they lost 3-1, but in 2013 they beat them 2-0.
Esteghlal vs Al Ain: Prediction
Last time Esteghlal did not score at home was on February 7, in that 0-0 against Al Sadd that they won on penalties. Ever since then, they have been averaging two goals per game as hosts. Al Ain have scored at least two goals in 12 of their last 14 games away from home(!). My point here is, since I don’t consider one of the two teams as clear favorites to win the game, not even hosts Esteghlal, I prefer to focus on goals, expecting these two to produce a game that will have at least three goals.
Esteghlal vs Al Ain: Tips
Over 2.5 goals pays 2.00, and I consider it someone’s best bet to double his/her money.