Al-Hilal aims for strong start in AFC Champions League
RIYADH — When Al-Hilal takes on Navbahor in the opening round of the 2023–2024 AFC Champions League, they hope to get their Asian campaign off to a good start.
The game is scheduled to take place at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Monday.
Neymar's participation in the AFC Champions League encounter against Navbahor is still up in the air, according to Jorge Jesus, the coach of Al-Hilal, because the Brazilian striker is still dealing with some muscular discomfort.
At a press conference on Sunday, Jesus said, "Everyone knows that Neymar is highly competent among all of the players in the world and capable of producing more. He is presently experiencing some muscle pain; therefore, his participation won't be decided until Sunday's practice.
Jesus continued, "I will choose which five international players will compete in the game. Each game is approached in accordance with the opposition.
"I encourage the fans to put on a fantastic performance, as they have in recent Saudi League games," he concluded. I am aware that Al-Hilal has recently won the championship and advanced to the finals.
At the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, Mumbai City FC of India will take on FC Nassaji Mazandaran of Iran in the second game of the same group.
After losing to the Urawa Red Diamonds in the championship game of the previous season, Al-Hilal is aiming to win their third championship title in recent years.
After the loss, Al-Hilal made some major adjustments and brought in a number of new players, including Neymar and Mitrovi, a Serbian striker.
On the other side, Navbahor makes up for its 13-year absence from the group stage of the continental event. They hope to stand out in the group and try to get past the group stage into the knockout rounds.
On October 3, Navbahor will play Mumbai City in Namangan, while Nassaji Mazandaran will play Al-Hilal in Tehran in the second round of group stage matches.
The top team from each group, together with the three best runner-up teams from the five groups, advances to the Round of 16 in the Western region.