The eyes are on the King Saud University stadium in Riyadh, which will be the scene of the clasico match between Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal and host Al Ittihad Jeddah in the second leg of the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
The first leg in Jeddah ended in a goalless draw, and Al Hilal will enter today's match with the need to win to ensure qualification, while Al Ittihad will enter the chances of a win or a positive draw.
It is the third time the two teams have met in the continental competition in its new name, and the first was in May 2011, when Al Ittihad won 3-1 in the round of 16 knockout system of one game. Al-Hilal overcame another team from Jeddah, Al-Ahli, despite losing 1-0 at home in Riyadh to a 4-2 win at home.
Al Hilal was crowned champion of the continental competition twice in 1991 and 2000, when it was called the Asian Club Champions Cup, but has not succeeded in his speeches since the adoption of the new system season 2002-2003, although he reached the final twice in recent years, losing to Western Sydney Wanderers Australia 2014, and in front of Urawa Red Diamonds in 2017.
The federation won the continental title twice in 2004 and 2005 and lost the final in 2009.
Al-Hilal focuses heavily on the continental competition, hoping to win the title for the first time with its new system and the third in its history.This was evident in his last league match against Al-Fayhaa, where he rested six key elements, which affected his performance and put him in a draw (1-1). His Romanian coach Razvan Lucescu was harshly criticized.
Lucescu defended his options, stressing that his players, who were absent from the match, some suffer injury, and others suffer fatigue, but will restore them in today's game.
Al-Hilal's coach also contained the crisis that broke out with Gomez quickly before it worsened, especially after the player's apology.
"I apologize to the coach for the misunderstanding that happened. I was angry because of the level at which they appeared in the game," Gomes protested over his replacement before Faiha. "The focus now is on the AFC Champions League, and we need the support of the public."
Lucesco pent up Ali Al-Blaihi, Salem Al-Dossari, Salman Al-Faraj, Hattan Bahabri and Yasser Al-Shahrani to face Al-Ittihad.
Federal public anger
Ittihad Jeddah is no different from compatriot Al Hilal, as it also disappointed in the league by losing to the newcomer (1-2), where Chilean coach Luis Sierra relieved four players, which aroused the ire of the fans of the club that held the coach responsible for the sudden loss, and demanded the management to intervene Rapidly discussing the coach and holding him accountable, especially in light of his insistence on the participation of compatriot Luis Gimenez key at the expense of better players. The fans met Jimenez with boos after leaving the pitch, due to his lackluster levels with the team, and did not exclude the coach from them.
Jimenez, 36, was alarmed by threats to his family and called on the administration to provide protection for him and his family. "It's true I wasn't good against you, but I'm not the worst, I'm a football player," Jimenez said on his Twitter account. "When I go to the field and hit the ball I give everything I have," he said. "I understand you blame me, because you are eager to be one." Of those who improve the results. "I came here to play and give my all and give you happiness and joy. We must agree that we played against you very badly. It is a fact." "I want to tell you all that the players have pledged to do the best, and I promise that I deserve to be part of this big family, Al Ittihad, because I love this team, I know how the fans fill the stadiums, and I will play to win."
Since the start of the season, the UEFA fans have expressed outrage at coach Sierra because of his floundering and bizarre technical decisions, including his insistence on the inclusion of a number of foreign professionals over the age of 30, including Jimenez, and his refusal to continue Gary Rodriguez from Cape Verde and Ivory Seko Sanogo, despite One of the good performances they made with the team last season, in addition to the removal of international Abdulaziz Albishi from the starting line-up.
The most important information
■ The match will be held at 9:00 pm UAE time at King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh.
■ The two teams play in the second leg of the AFC Champions League, after a goalless draw, in a match missed opportunities and excitement.
■ Hilal enters the need to win to ensure qualification, while the Union will enter the chances of winning or draw positive.
■ The third time the two teams meet in the continental competition in its new name.
■ Al Hilal was crowned champion of the continental competition twice in 1991 and 2000, and lost the final twice 2014 and 2017.
■ Al Ittihad won the title twice in 2004 and 2005, and lost the 2009 final.