(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Garden City club Al Ain play Qatari side Al Duhail in the Round 16 first leg match of the AFC Champions League at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.
It will be an engrossing encounter as both Al Ain and Al Duhail are among the handful of teams to remain unbeaten in the competition so far.
Al Ain are on a roll with the Arabian Gulf League and the UAE President's Cup trophies shining in the cabinet. Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic was confident ahead of the clash and said the 'Boss' were eyeing quarterfinal spot. "I am not worried about facing any team in Asia. Al Ain are enjoying best phase in an exceptional season. We will continue playing at the same level," Mamic said while adding that the Qatari opponent were a strong side.
"I respect the aspirations of the opponent. We need to be at a high level on the field," the coach said during a pre-match press conference on Monday.
Egyptian star Hussein El Shahat will miss the contest with suspension. Also, defender Mohanad Salem is unavailable. However, Mamic is upbeat with the likes of Omar Abdulrahman, Caio and Marcus Berg in top form.
"I will not think much about the absences but focus on the available players. Such absences are part of football and we have to deal with it. The team got enough players to compensate for any absence."
Al Ain striker Caio said the players were ready to put their best performance.
"Our goal is clear. We want to qualify to the quarterfinals. Our achievements at local level give us motivation and confidence to get the best results in the tournament," the Brazilian said.
Meanwhile, Al Duhail coach Djamel Belmadi said the players had prepared well and were aware of the importance of away goals.
"We are aiming to reach the quarterfinals and go further. We are not afraid to face any team in any tournament. Our ambition is always the podium and we will play with the same spirit to make things easy for us in the return leg in Doha next week," Belmadi noted.
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