Thai Premier League champions Muangthong United take on A-League giants Brisbane Roar in the opening match of AFC Champions League 2017 Group E on Tuesday in Brisbane.
The Thailand club are appearing in the group stages of Asia's top-tier continental competition only for the second time after their 2013 appearance, in which they failed to even win a single game. It will be an uphill task for them in the opening game against Brisbane, who are looking impeccable after outclassing Global FC (6-0) and Shanghai Shenhua (2-0) in the qualifying play-offs last month.
However, Muangthong will be benefited from the fact that most of the Thailand national team players including superstars Teerasil Dangda and Chanathip Songkrasin, who has delayed his loan move to J.League's Consadole Sapporo until this summer, feature in the side.
They have also started their Thai league season well with comfortable wins over Bangkok Glass and Sukhothai FC shortly after their pre-season assignments in which they defeated Korea's FC Seoul. While Totchtawan Sripan's side have lost some of key players in Cleiton Silva and Tanaboon Kesarat, the addition of former La Liga player Xisco and South Kroea's Lee Ho will add enough firepower to battle at the highest level.
However, their only area of concern would be the lack of solid performances at the continental level as it is still early days in the ACL for Muangthong. The Thai league side have also not made a big impact in their AFC Cup campaigns in 2010 and 2011.
On the other hand, Queensland-based Brisbane are heading into the tie after managing only one win in their last four games. However, the Australian side, who are featuring in their third ACL campaign, will be looking to get past the group stages for the first time after the solid show in the play-offs.
Australia: Fox Sports
Singapore: Fox Sports 2
Thailand: Fox Sports
Indonesia: Fox Sports 2
Philippines: Fox Sports 2
Malaysia: Fox Sports 2
Possible XI: Theo; McKay, North, DeVere, Ingham; Caletti, Pepper, Holman, Broich, Borello; MacLaren
Possible XI: Thamsatchanan; Aoyama, Bunmathan, Do, Notchaiya; Promrak, Songkrasin, Lee Ho, Playnum; Xisco, Teerasil