Urawa Reds vs Al Hilal
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 25 November 2017
Kick-off: 11:15 CET
If you didn’t watch the first leg last week, do take the time to watch the highlights, and my guess is, at some point you will start laughing, seeing the type of i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e chances Al Hilal missed. Urawa Reds took the lead early on thanks to an impressive Rafael Silva run, that brought the ball inside Al Hilal’s box. After a defensive blunder, the ball went back to the Brazilian who got a bit lucky to be… served with such an easy finish. After that, Urawa suffered, big time. The score at halftime was 1-1, but Al Hilal had missed unbelievable chances, with the Japanese side looking almost… scared, defending too-too deep, as in… between the penalty spot and the goalkeeper’s box line. Urawa got saved in even more cases in the second half, but ironically they could have left Saudi Arabia with a huge win if Al Hilal’s goalkeeper hadn’t made a couple of excellent saves. Urawa have seven straight wins at home in the AFC Champions League, nine wins and a draw in their last 10 home matches in the competition, they will be backed by tens of thousands of passionate fans, so their chances of lifting the trophy are very good.
As already mentioned, Al Hilal missed a bunch of “wow” chances to score more than just once, but… this is football. Even Urawa Reds’ players looked in disbelief in a couple of occasions, as if even they couldn’t believe that the ball hadn’t gone into their net. The Saudi Arabian side have won just two of their last seven away games in the AFC Champions League, and one of those was played at a neutral venue, against a team from Iran. It’s highly unlikely they will create the number of chances they did last week, so they will have to look much-much more clinical in their finishing, or else they will be left wondering how they managed to… gift Asia’s most prestigious football trophy (on club level) to Urawa.
Previous five matches:
Al Hilal vs Urawa Reds 1-1
Kashima Antlers vs Urawa Reds 1-0
Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Urawa Reds 0-1
Urawa Reds vs Gamba Osaka 3-3
Urawa Reds vs Shanghai SIPG 1-0
Al Hilal vs Urawa Reds 1-1
Al Hilal vs Al Shabab 1-1
Al Nassr vs Al Hilal 1-2
Al Hilal vs Al Batin 2-1
Persepolis vs Al Hilal 2-2
Next game for Urawa is on Wednesday, again at home, versus Kawasaki Frontale (a J-League match). Al Hilal are hosting Al Ahli on December 1 (Saudi Arabia championship).
Urawa Reds vs Al Hilal: Head to head Stats
Last week’s game was the first ever between these two.
Urawa Reds vs Al Hilal: Prediction
Urawa are considered rather clear favorites to win the game, their home record in the competition is absolutely spectacular, but personally I’m backing Al Hilal to earn at least a draw.
Urawa Reds vs Al Hilal: Betting Tips
Al Hilal’s double chance is at 1.72 betting odds, which I prefer to Urawa’s 2.05. “Both teams to score” pays a little better, 1.87. “Over 2.5 combined goals” pays even better, 2.05.