Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal will be hosting Al Ain, who have already lost the Arabian Gulf League title after a five-match winless run, in the Group C 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 at King Saud University Stadium on Monday.
A win for the Saudi side today will virtually confirm their ninth knockout stage berth in 10 years in the continental competition.
A loss for Al Ain would bring down the curtains completely on their slender mathematic hopes of progressing.
Former champions Al Ain are yet to win a contest in this tournament and are currently placed at the bottom of the group with just two points.
The reigning Saudi Pro League Champions Al Hilal are currently sitting at the top of Group C with nine points, two points ahead of their nearest chasers Al Duhail.
Al Hilal, however, come into the contest under new coach Pericles Chamusca, who has been handed a contract until the end of the season. Chamusca replaced former Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic, who left Al Ain in January earlier this year.
The two teams met in the group stage last year and the contest had ended in a goalless draw in Riyadh. In the return leg, Al Ain emerged 2-1 victorious at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium. Earlier this season, Al Hilal defeated Al Ain through a solitary goal by Mohammad Al Shalhoub.