Match: Al Wehdat v Bengaluru FC
Date: 31 January, Tuesday
Time: 12am SGT (Wednesday)/9:30pm IST/4pm GMT
Competition: ACL 2017, Preliminary Round 2
Venue: King Abdullah II International Stadium, Amman
TV Channel: In Singapore, there is no live coverage of the match.
I-League champions Bengaluru FC are making their second attempt to qualify for the AFC Champions League after their preliminary stage one exit in 2015 following defeat to Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta'zim.
The Blues though have become a much-improved side since then, winning another I-League title and finishing as runners-up in 2016 AFC Cup dumping JDT in the semi-final before losing to Iraq's Air Force Club by a narrow margin.
However, they face an uphill task against Jordanian giants Al Wehdat, who are also eyeing to make their first ACL group stage appearance. The Green Giants are heading into Tuesday's clash on a five-match winning streak in their local league, in which they are placed second after 11 games in the ongoing season.
Wehdat also have a vast experience of playing in continental competitions as they have featured in the AFC Cup eight times and the ACL preliminary stages twice. However, they have not been able to go past the semi-final in the second-tier competition even once. But with the likes of experienced skipper Amer Deeb and Brazilian import Francisco Wagsley, the hosts have it in them to ease past their opponents.
On the other hand, Bengaluru have not had the best of starts in the ongoing I-League season as they have suffered back-to-back league defeats against East Bengal and Churchill Brothers. Also, they have quite a few injury concerns with their bankable centre-back John Johnson being doubtful for the clash while full backs Sandesh Jhingan and Rino Anto are ruled out.
A lot will depend on in-form striker CK Vineeth but he will need good support from Roby Norales and skipper Sunil Chhetri, who ended his goal drought in their last game in Goa. While a defeat will demote the Blues to AFC Cup 2017 group stages, a win will see them taking on UAE's Al Wahda in the preliminary round three on 7 February.
Possible XI: Shafi; Mustafa, Antic, Khattab, Al Dmeiri; Maher, Deeb, Deep, Abdelfattah, Abu Amrah; Wagsley
Possible XI: Arminder; Khabra, Johnson, Juanan, Nishu; Lenny, Watson, Lyngdoh; Norales, Vineeth, Chhetri