Sydney FC face a massive task with AFC Champions League holders Guangzhou Evergrande drawn in their 2016 ACL group.
Reigning A-League Champions Melbourne Victory will head into their fourth ACL hit-out against Japan's second club (possibly Gamba Osaka or Urawa Red Diamonds) Suwon Bluewings (Korea) and a winner from play-off four in Group G - either Pohang Steelers (Korea), Muangthong United (Thailand) or Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS)).
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) December 10, 2015
Runners-up Sydney FC, in their third attempt, will face Evergrande, Japan's 3rd ranked club (possibly Gamba Osaka or Urawa Red Diamonds) and the winner of playoff one either Shanghai SIPG (China), Hanoi T&T (Vietnam) or Kitchee (Hong Kong).
— Sydney FC (@SydneyFC) December 10, 2015
The group stage will get underway on February 23.
Adelaide United will playoff for a spot in the ACL on February 9 against Shandong Luneng (China) or the winner of Mohun Bagan (India) v Tampines Rovers (Singapore).
The winner will join Group F against Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan), FC Seoul (Korea) and Buriram United (Thailand).
The Reds are no strangers to the ACL and were runners-up in 2008.
Western Sydney Wanderers, however, have set the benchmark for A-League clubs after lifting the trophy in 2014 in their first attempt.
The draw was held at the Hilton Hotel in Petaling Jaya and broadcast live.
The top two from each group will progress.
AFC Champions League 2016 Groups
Group A: FOOLAD MOBARAKEH SEPAHAN (IRN), AL NASR (UAE), LOKOMOTIV (UZB), Winner of Playoff 1 (West)
Group B: AL NASSR (KSA), ZOBAHAN (IRN), LEKHWIYA (QAT), Winner of Playoff 3 (West)
Group C: PAKHTAKOR (UZB), AL HILAL (KSA), TRACTORSAZI TABRIZ (IRN), Winner of Playoff 4 (West)
Group D: AL AIN (UAE), NASAF (UZB), AL AHLI (KSA), Winner of Playoff 2 (West)
Group E: JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS (KOR), JIANGSU SAINTY (CHN), BECAMEX BINH DUONG (VIE), Winner of Playoff 2 (East)
Group F: SANFRECCE HIROSHIMA (JPN), FC SEOUL (KOR), BURIRAM UNITED (THA), Winner of Playoff 3 (East)
Group G: MELBOURNE VICTORY (AUS), JAPAN 2ND CLUB (JPN), SUWON SAMSUNG BLUEWINGS FC (KOR), Winner of Playoff 4 (East)
Group H: GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE (CHN), SYDNEY FC (AUS), JAPAN 3RD CLUB (JPN), Winner of Playoff 1 (East)
Preliminary Stage One (East Zone): January 27
Preliminary Stage Two (East Zone): February 2
Playoffs (West and East Zones): February 9
Group Stage: February 23/24 (MD1), March 1/2 (MD2), March 15/16 (MD3), April 5/6 (MD4), April 19/20 (MD5), May 3/4 (MD6)
Round of 16: May 17/18 (1st Leg), May 24/25 (2nd Leg)
Quarter Finals: September 13/14 (1st Leg), September 20/21 (2nd Leg)
Semi Finals: October 18/19 (1st Leg), October 25/26 (2nd Leg)
Final: November 19 (1st Leg), November 26 (2nd Leg)comments