The Asian Champions League group stage enters its final round of matches this week with some groups still wide open. As usual, when looking for Asian Champions League tips I’ve taken a look at some of the more intriguing matches for betting value – with the matches in Group A proving the most interesting.
Asian Champions League Tips: Al Ahli (UAE) v Lokomotiv Tashkent
Group A of the Asian Champions League is about as tight as you can get. No team has been knocked out, no team are through – and should the right results happen, it could be all four teams end up on eight points and goal difference will be need to be used to determine qualification.
Al Ahli currently lead the group and are guaranteed qualification with a draw or better, while Lokomotiv Tashkent need to win and hope Al-Taawoun don’t win the other game against Esteghlal (more on that later).
The Dubai based Al Ahli side are currently third in the Arabian Gulf League with one game to go and will need to beat relegated Baniyas to guarantee themselves a Champions League spot next year. They’re not in the greatest of form having drawn their last three games but they have not lost at home since January.
Uzbek Professional Football League leaders Lokomotiv and are unbeaten in six games in all competitions. However, they have only one win in this competition – ironically, the reverse of this fixture – and have only won twice in eight games away from the Uzbek capital.
I think this game is going to be a question of motivation; Lokomotiv know they have to win and that they have beaten Al Ahli before – however, I can’t see them doing it in Dubai and thus my Asian Champions League tips for this game are Al Ahli to win at 2.02.
Asian Champions League Tips: Al-Taawoun v Esteghlal
The other half of the group sees seventh placed Saudi side Al-Taawoun take on Iranian side Esteghlal. Al-Taawoun are in the hardest position in the group with a -4 goal difference, while Esteghlal only need a draw to qualify.
Al-Taawoun are in a poor run of form. They’ve won only twice in their last eight games – and one of those came on penalties in the King’s Cup. Although they did beat struggling Al Batin at home at the end of April, they’ve only won twice in their last five on home soil.
Contrast that with Esteghlal. A win against Sepahan last weekend secured second place for them in the Persian Gulf Pro League and a place in next season’s Asian Champions League. They’ve won five of their last nine and have only lost twice in their last nine away from home in all competitions.
Because of the enmity between Saudi Arabia and Iran this match is taking place in neutral Doha, which negates the home advantage somewhat further for Al-Taawoun. Thus my Asian Champions League tips for this game are Esteghlal to win at 2.05.
Asian Champions League Tips and the ProTipster
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