AFC Champions League Preview: Guangzhou eye last eight
By Football News
Guangzhou Evergrande are in prime position to reach the AFC Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, while Bunyodkor could exit.
Chinese Super League leaders Evergrande will take a 2-1 aggregate lead into their second leg against A-League champions the Central Coast Mariners.
The big-spending outfit are favourites to progress with Brazilian Muriqui and Paraguayan Lucas Barrios in good form.
Muriqui is the equal top-scorer in the competition this season with seven goals, while Barrios has struck three times.
The Mariners will need a big performance from highly rated goalkeeper Mathew Ryan to have any chance of causing an upset.
Bunyodkor are staring at a surprise early exit and head into their second leg at home to Buriram United trailing 2-1.
The Uzbek side – semi-finalists in 2008 and 2012 – should be too good for the Thai outfit in Tashkent.
Two-time champions Al Hilal travel to Doha needing a win against Lekhwiya, who won the first leg 1-0 thanks to a late Youssef Msakni goal.
Esteghlal are in control of their tie against Al Shabab after beating the UAE Pro-League side 4-2 in the first leg in Dubai.
The Iranian two-time winners are top of the league and appear all but certain to book their place in the last eight in Asia on Wednesday.
J.League side Kashiwa Reysol also look certain to progress ahead of their second leg against K-League outfit Jeonbuk Motors.
Kashiwa were 2-0 winners in the first leg and Jeonbuk will need to produce an upset away from home.
Al Ahli welcome El Jaish to Saudi Arabia with the aggregate score locked at 1-1, while Seoul host Beijing Guoan after their 0-0 draw in the first leg.