Tehran: Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal welcome UAE's Al Ain to Azadi Stadium as the two wounded sides look to make amends in matchday two of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group C.
Esteghlal and Al Ain had most recently clashed in the 2017 edition in the round of 16. Back then, Kaveh Rezaei gave the Iranian side a 1-0 win in Tehran, but an Omar Abdulrahman masterclass inspired the Emiratis to a 6-1 thumping in the return leg in Al Ain.
Since then, Rezaei and Abdulrahman have both left for pastures new. Esteghlal reached the quarter-finals in 2018, while Al Ain exited at the round of 16 last year.
This campaign, both side got off to a disappointing start; Esteghlal suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat to Al Duhail in Doha, while Al Ain were beaten in front of their own crowd by Al Hilal 1-0.
Al Ain are without their captain Ismail Ahmed was sent-off in the previous match, and key men Mohammed Abdulrahman and Caio have both not travelled with the team to Tehran due to injuries.