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Home /  SPORTS  /  Al Rayyan set to meet Al Ain; Al Sadd host Persepolis in Doha

Al Rayyan set to meet Al Ain; Al Sadd host Persepolis in Doha

Al Rayyan set to meet Al Ain; Al Sadd host Persepolis in Doha


Ayeni Olusegun
Doha
After a disappointing 2-2 draw against Iranian side Esteghlal in their AFC Champions League opener, Al Rayyan will hope to get a good result away against Al Ain at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday without influential captain Rodrigo Tabata. Tabata is suspended for the tie after picking up a red card in their Group D opener.
Al Sadd also host Iranian champions Persepolis at the Al Sadd Stadium with both teams on three points after picking up wins against Al Wasl and Nasaf respectively.
Al Rayyan have been on a miserable run both on the domestic front and in the continent managing just one win in their last five matches. Michael Laudrup's men have been questioned on the defensive end after letting in late goals in their last two matches both in the league and in Asia.
The Lions in their previous visit to Al Ain in 2013 suffered a 2-1 defeat. The last time they played in the United Arab Emirates, they lost 5-1 to Al Wahda in the 2017 group stage, a losing run they would hope to end on Tuesday.
The Al Rayyan squad arrived in Al Ain on Sunday evening and had a light training session. The players went through their paces on Monday evening too.
Meanwhile, 2011 AFC Champions League winners have enjoyed contrasting fortunes with five wins from their last five league and continental matches, banging in 16 goals in the process. The Wolves edged Al Wasl in their Group C opener 2-1 with goals from star striker Baghdad Bounedjah. Al Sadd hope midfielders Jugurtha Hamroun and Boualem Khoukhi will be fit to play as both have been nursing injuries.
Persepolis were semi-finalists last year and will be the first-ever meeting against Al Sadd in the AFC Champions League. However, the Iranian champions arrive with happy memories of their previous trip to Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium when they defeated Lekhwiya 1-0 in last year's Round of 16.
Al Sadd's match kicks off at 6:30pm while Al Rayyan's match in UAE begins at 6:10pm.

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