AFC Champions League Preview: Al Ain enhanced, Wanderers prepare for Evergrande reunion
Al Ain are set to be a much more dangerous proposition when they travel to Naft Tehran on Tuesday than they were against Al Shabab on matchday one.
With star striker Asamoah Gyan having ended a six-game scoring drought for club and country in the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Sunday, and Omar Abdulrahman back in action following a hamstring injury, Al Ain coach Zlatko Dalic should be much more confident.
Al Ain started the 2015 AFC Champions League (ACL) with a scoreless draw at home against Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab last week but the 2014 semi-finalists should produce an improved performance in Iran on Tuesday.
The United Arab Emirates-based club defeated Al Fujairah 3-0 over the weekend to claim top spot in the AGL with Gyan scoring twice and playmaker Abdulrahman coming off the bench at half-time for his first appearance since February 4.
"We can take a lot of positives forward from this game," Dalic said, according to the Asian Football Confederation's website.
"It was our first win in three games after losing to Fujairah and the draw against Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia in the ACL.
"We didn't concede a goal in the last two matches, and with this result we go on top of the league table. It was good to see Gyan scoring again and Omar back in action."
Naft Tehran lost 2-1 away to Pakhtakor in Group B action last week.
The team that ended Al Ain's continental campaign last season - Al Hilal - will visit Al Sadd on Wednesday hoping to continue their unbeaten record against the Qataris.
The 2014 runners-up from Saudi Arabia have faced Al Sadd six times in the ACL, winning three matches and drawing the rest.
Al Hilal top Group C after a 3-1 victory over Lokomotiv Tashkent, while Al Sadd drew 0-0 away to Foolad in Iran last week.
Reigning champions Western Sydney Wanderers will renew hostilities with Guangzhou Evergrande in Group H.
In the quarter-finals last year, the Wanderers defeated Evergrande on the away-goals rule, with the first leg in Sydney including an ugly brawl, with the visitors' former coach Marcello Lippi running on the pitch to confront the referee after two of his players were sent off.
Shandong Luneng and Jeonbuk Motors will start matchday two on Tuesday, while Binh Duong will visit Kashiwa Reysol and Seongnam take on Gamba Osaka.
Guangzhou R&F host Buriram United, Bunyodkor will entertain Persepolis and Lekhwiya face Al Nasr.
On Wednesday, Lokomotiv take on Foolad, Brisbane Roar will travel to Urawa Red Diamonds and FC Seoul line up against Kashima Antlers.
Beijing Guoan meet Suwon Bluewings, Tractor Sazi clash with Al Ahli of UAE and Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli host Nasaf.