Dubai: Omar Abdul Rahman’s former club Al Ain were grouped alongside his current team Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in the Asian Champions League draw in Malaysia on Thursday.
The UAE midfielder was subject to a contentious move between the two sides last summer before tearing his cruciate ligament last month.
With the Asian Champions League group stage running from March until May, it is not yet known if Abdul Rahman will be fit in time to face his old club.
Al Ain were also drawn with Qatar’s Al Duhail and Iran’s Esteghlal in Group C. Esteghlal finished above Al Ain in last year’s group stages, while Al Duhail knocked Al Ain out in the Last 16, so all three games will be viewed as grudge matches.
Elsewhere, Al Wasl were drawn in Group A with Iraq’s Al Zawraa and two yet to be confirmed play-off winners, and Al Wahda were drawn in Group B with Saudi’s Al Ittihad and another two play-off winners. The fourth UAE side to have qualified, Al Nasr, will start from the play-offs in February.
Meanwhile, in the Arabian Gulf League this weekend, second-placed Al Jazira will take on fifth-placed Al Wahda away in the Abu Dhabi derby from 7.30pm on Friday. It will be Al Jazira’s first league game since their coach Marcel Keizer left them to join Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon earlier this month.
Leaders Sharjah are away to bottom-placed Dibba from 4.40pm and mid-table Fujairah travel to second from bottom Emirates from 7.30pm.
On Saturday, third placed Al Ain are away to mid-table Kalba from 4.40pm, fourth-placed Shabab Ahli are away to third from bottom Al Dhafra from 4.50pm and Bani Yas host Al Nasr in a lower half of the table duel from 7.30pm.
Al Wasl don’t play Ajman at home until 7.30pm on Sunday. Their match is delayed because of their game against Egypt’s Al Ahly at home in the second round of the Arab Club Champions Cup on Thursday. Both sides drew 2-2 in the away leg in Cairo on October 28.