Al Duhail and Al Taawoun will lock horns on Matchday Six of the 2020 AFC Champions League with knockout stage places up for grabs for all four Group C teams today.
One point will be enough for Al Duhail to reach the Round of 16, while Al Taawoun’s fate is out of their hands, as they would require the three points in addition to a draw in the other game today between Sharjah and Persepolis.
Having reached the knock-out stages in each of the last two editions, Al Duhail have the ambition to go all the way in the 2020 AFC Champions League and head coach Walid Regragui believes he will need each and every member of his squad to achieve that objective.
“This is the last game in the group stage and it is like a final between us and Al Taawoun,” said Regrargui.
“I was very happy with the return and contribution of Karim Boudiaf and Edmilson Junior in the previous match as they make us a better team, but for me, a team that wants to go far in the competition needs the efforts of all players in the squad.
“I am proud of my players because every player I field works hard and gives his all. Despite many absences, we continue to compete on all fronts. We must continue with the same rhythm and the same spirit.”
After a bright start to the competition with back-to-back wins, Al Taawoun have been off-form since the restart, losing all three subsequent matches. The arrival of French coach Patrice Carteron ahead of Matchday Five did not change things as they suffered a 6-0 defeat to Sharjah.
“Tomorrow’s match is like a final. We still have hope of qualifying to the next round, but we need to restore our balance after the last defeat,” said Carteron.
“As a coach you always take the responsibility for wins or defeats, but the next game will also be a test of the players ability to react well after the defeat. Even if we had won the previous match, we would still have needed to win this one. We hope we can do well and regain our balance by winning here.
“My job is to find solutions to make Al Taawoun more competitive. Al Duhail have been playing well and have defeated Persepolis. We analysed their performance in the past two days, and we will try to prepare our team to get the win.”
Al Taawoun’s last win in the competition came in the reverse fixture on Matchday Two, with Mohamed al-Salhawi and Abdulmajeed al-Swat scoring their two unanswered goals.
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