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AFC Champions League | Semi-Finals | 2nd Leg
Apr 23, 2024 at 7pm UK
Kingdom Arena

Al-Hilal
2 - 1
Al-Ain

Neves (4' pen.), Al-Dawsari (51')
Al-Dawsari (38'), Nader (50'), Essa (90+10')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Erik (12')
Autonne (3'), Al Ahbabi (19')

Preview: Al-Hilal vs. Al-Ain - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Al-Hilal vs. Al-Ain - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's AFC Champions League clash between Al-Hilal and Al-Ain, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Al-Hilal face a mountain to climb as they host Al-Ain in the second leg of their AFC Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday at the Kingdom Arena.

In the opening leg last Wednesday, Al-Ain handed the Saudis their first defeat of the competition this season, triumphing 4-2.


Match preview

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Al-Hilal are in danger of missing out on the Champions League final for the first time since the 2020-21 season, having won the competition in 2021-22 and finishing runners-up last year.

The Saudi side had not lost a game since their 2-1 defeat to Al-Nassr in the Arab Club Champions Cup final in August 2023, until their loss to Al-Ain at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium last week.

Al-Hilal have also not been knocked out of this competition at the semi-final stage since the 2015-16 season and have lifted the trophy twice since then. However, they have a huge task at home to overturn the two-goal deficit from the first leg if they want to avoid another exit at this stage.

Jorge Jesus's men enter this contest unbeaten at home in this competition, with four wins and a draw at the Kingdom Arena in the current Champions League campaign. They are also on a 17-match winning run on home soil, dating back to September.

The Bosses will look to make their home advantage count once again, as they have a strong record against Tuesday's opponents on home soil. In six meetings between both sides hosted by Al-Hilal, the hosts have won five times and drawn once.

Al-Ain are a step closer to reaching the Champions League final for the first time since 2016-17, which would be only their third ever appearance in the final.

However, since the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Al-Nassr, Hernan Crespo's side have only won two matches, losing two and drawing two. This slump included a quarter-final exit from the UAE President's Cup.

Prior to their 4-3 defeat against Al-Nassr, the record 14-time UAE Pro League champions had not lost a Champions League fixture away from home this season. However, they will now need to hold firm to avoid back-to-back away defeats in the competition.

The Emirati side have only conceded two goals in the opening 45 minutes in this competition, and keeping the prolific Saudi side quiet for that long will be crucial for Crespo's men.

However, the record against Al-Hilal is not encouraging, as they have conceded 12 times and scored just once in six visits to Al-Hilal, losing by at least a two-goal margin on four occasions.

Al-Hilal AFC Champions League form:


Al-Hilal form (all competitions):


Al-Ain AFC Champions League form:


Team News

A

The hosts remain without their marquee signing Neymar, who suffered a cruciate ligament injury in October and is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.

Muteb Al Mufarrij is also dealing with a cruciate ligament injury that is expected to keep him sidelined until the end of the campaign.

Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is also out with a hamstring injury that he picked up during the 4-3 win over Al Shabab on March 30.

Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba missed the first leg of this tie and is not expected back in the Al-Ain squad for Tuesday's clash.

Soufiane Rahimi, who became the outright top scorer in the competition after scoring a hat trick in the first leg, should lead the line once again alongside Alejandro Romero.


Al-Hilal possible starting lineup:
Bono; Abdulhamid, Koulibaly, Albulayhi, Lodi; Neves, Milinkovic-Savic; Michael, Malcom, Al-Dawsari; Alhamddan

Al-Ain possible starting lineup:
Eisa; Al-Ahbabi, Al-Hashemi, Autonne, Erik; Al Baloushi, Nader, Park, Palacios; Romero, Rahimi


We say: Al-Hilal 3-0 Al-Ain

Al-Hilal face a tough task, needing to overturn a 2-goal deficit against a shaky Al-Ain. The hosts have a great record when playing at home in this fixture and we think they have enough quality to win this match and overturn the tie.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.




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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Al-HilalAl-Hilal32293096217590
2Al-Nassr32253494385678
3Al-AhliAl-Ahli32187766353161
4Al-TaawounAl-Taawoun321510749341555
5Al Ittihad32156115749851
6Al Ettifaq32111294233945
7Al Fayha321110114350-743
8Al Fateh32119125351242
9Al ShababAl Shabab32118134239341
10Damac321010124240240
11Al Khaleej32910133443-937
12Al RaedAl Raed3298154048-835
13Al WahdaAl Wahda32105174357-1435
14Al Riyadh32710152954-2531
15Al Tai3287173359-2631
16Al Okhdood3285193051-2129
17Abha3285193584-4929
18Al Hazem32312173173-4221
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