At nine o'clock on Tuesday evening, all eyes will be on the Sharjah Stadium, where the two Emirati sides Sharjah and Al Wahda will be clashing in the AFC Champions league round of 16 .
The round of 16 games will be one-legged fixtures, as the winning team qualifies for Quarterfinals.
The game between Sharjah and Al Wahda is the first between these two teams at a continental level, and the third in the history of Emirati club confrontations in the knock-out stages of the AFC Champions League.
The previous two games were Al Ain against Al Jazira in 2014, and Shabab Al Ahli against Al Ain in 2015.
Sharjah, who are playing in the knock-out stages for the second time in its history, after reaching the 2004 quarterfinals on their debut campaign.
They booked their seat in this year’s round 16, after topping the standings in the second group, which included Traktor Sazi Tabriz (Iran), Pakhtakor (Uzbekistan) and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (Iraq), with 11 points, won 3 matches, drew two, and lost one.
On the other hand, Al-Wahda, who is playing the knockout stages in the AFC Champions League for the fourth time in its history.
In the years 2004, 2007 they reached the ‘semi-final’, and in 2019, they qualified for the last 16 round. This year, they finished as runners-up of the fifth group, which included Persepolis (Iran), Goa (India), and Al-Rayyan (Qatar). Al-Wahda finished on 13 points from 6 matches, winning 4, drawing 1 and losing the 1.
Sharjah, led by the former national team coach Abdulaziz Al-Anbari, are counting on the efforts of a number of its distinguished stars, led by the Brazilian Bernard, who is tasked with compensating the departure of his compatriot Igor Coronado to the Saudi League, along with the Congolese striker Ben Malango, who was crowned twice as the top scorer in the Federation Cup.
Malango has recently joined the team from Morocco's Raja Casablanca.
On the other hand, Al Wahda, led by its Dutch coach Henk Ten Cate, will be relying on the efforts of the Korean Lee Myung, who has a wealth of experience playing more than 50 matches in the AFC Champions League with three different clubs.
He has reached the 2014 quarterfinals with Pohang Steelers, and the 2016 final with Al-Ain. Alongside him will be the Syrian striker Omar Khirbin, and Brazilian Joao Pedro, who scored 18 goals in the league last season with BaniYas.
In the ADNOC Pro League the forms of Sharjah and Al Wahda have been contrasting before this upcoming AFC Champions League game.
Sharjah have won their first 3 games and have accumulated a maximum 9 points by defeating Ittihad Kalba 1-0, Al Dhafra 1-0 and Al Wasl 3-2 in a pulsating match.
In contrast Al Wahda, who are currently in 5th place, have only amassed 5 points as they beat Al-Orouba 4-0, drew with Bani Yas 1-1, and Khorfakkan 0-0.