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Preview - Group D: Persepolis FC (IRN) v Al Sadd SC (QAT)

Published on: 19 May 2019

Tehran: The famous Azadi Stadium will be home to the last match in the career of Spanish football legend Xavi as Al Sadd face Persepolis on Matchday Six of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group D on Monday.

The former Barcelona midfielder brings to an end a four-year stay in Doha as he prepares to hang his boots following the Persepolis clash, closing the curtains on the final act of a 22-year career which saw him win 32 titles, the last of which was the 2018-19 Qatar Stars League.

In Tehran, a repeat of the 2018 AFC Champions League semi-final between Persepolis and Al Sadd comes under contrasting circumstances, with Al Sadd already qualified and Persepolis eliminated from Group D.

On Monday, the two sides meet for the sixth time in just over a year. Persepolis and Al Sadd were pitted together in Group C last time around. A brace from Baghdad Bounedjah helped Al Sadd to a 3-1 win in Doha on Matchday Two.

In April 2018, it was Iranian international defender Morteza Pouraliganji who scored, albeit in his own net, gifting Persepolis a 1-0 win in Tehran. The same scoreline was replicated six months later at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium when the two sides met in the semi-finals first leg.

Bounedjah’s goal was cancelled out by Siamak Nemati as Persepolis snatched the 2018 AFC Champions League final ticket with a 1-1 draw in Azadi Stadium. Al Sadd’s Algerian forward continued his impressive scoring record against Alireza Beiranvand, scoring the only goal in his side’s 1-0 win on Matchday Two of this year’s group stage.


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