The AFC Champions League group stages get underway this week with Al-Hilal taking on PFC Navbahor Namangan on Monday. The Saudi powerhouse finally debuted Neymar as a substitute in their 6-1 win over Al Riyadh and the Brazilian superstar could be ready to start for this one against the Uzbek side. Al-Hilal are record four-time AFC Champions League winners and will be keen to add to their collection of titles now that they boast the likes of Neymar, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic Savic, Malcom, Yassine Bounou and Kalidou Koulibaly.
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Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Monday, September 18 | Time: 2 p.m. ET
- Location: King Fahd International Stadium — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Watch: Paramount+
- Odds: Al Hilal -562; Draw: +622; Navbahor +1226
Al Hilal: Now that Neymar has featured the big question will be when he starts and if he is handed a start here by Jorge Jesus. Neymar recently became Brazil’s top men’s scorer and it is not impossible that he gets his first start here. Mitrovic has already hit the ground running and is scoring regularly although Abdulelah Al-Malki is likely to remain out as he recovers from an ACL injury.
Potential Al-Hilal XI: Bono; Al Shahrani, Al Bulayhi, Jahfali, Abdulhamid; Neves, Kanno; Al Dawsari, Malcolm, Neymar; Mitrovic.
Navbahor: The ones to watch out for in Samvel Babayan’s side will be Montenegro international Milos Milovic, Serbi trio Luka Cermelj, Filip Ivanovic and Jovan Dokic as well as Georgian Toma Tabatadze. Utkir Yusupov, Oston Urunov, Jamshid Iskanderov and Abror Ismoilov are all Uzebekistan internationals.
Potential Navbahor XI: Yusupov; Golban, Khashimov, Milovic, Yoldoshev, Iskanderov, Dokic, Boltaboev, O’runov, Abdukholikov, Tabatadze.
Al Hilal should assert their dominance from the off here. Expect Neymar and Aleksandar Mitrovic to plunder a few goals between them as the Saudis start with a convincing win. Pick: Al-Hilal 5, Navbahor 0.