AFC Champions League 2018 Final: Persepolis FC vs Kashima Antlers predicted lineups

AFC Champions League 2018 Final

The second leg of the AFC Champions League 2018 final is here. After a stunning victory at home in the first leg, it is clear that Kashima Antlers are the team with a distinct advantage heading into the second leg in Iran.

But it won’t be a straightforward and sure shot win for Kashima by any means. Persepolis have been exceptional at home, and haven’t lost a single game at the Azadi Stadium where they play tonight. While the Iranians will be well aware that even one goal by their opponents is capable of killing off any challenge they may have been able to mount, there still remains an air of confidence in the squad.

That confidence in Persepolis comes from their manager Branko Ivankovic who has helped the side believe in their chances in this tournament and has brought the best out of his players. But whether that dedication and commitment will be enough for his team to overturn a two goal deficit in front of their home fans is another matter altogether.

Predicted Lineups (Persepolis FC):

As mentioned earlier, the Iranians enter this game knowing that if Kashima score even one, they will then need to score four in order to win the AFC Champions League. But we could be in for an attacking display nonetheless from the Tehran giants, with scoring goals the primary target.

Persepolis will be without the services of their midfield ace Siamak Nemati after he was sent off during injury time in the first leg. While his absence could shake up the system slightly, we do still think Ivankovic will stick with his trusted 4-4-2 formation:

Alireza Beiranvand (GK), Shojae Khalilzadeh (DEF), Jalal Hosseini (DEF), Mohammad Ansari (DEF), Ali Mosleh (DEF), Omid Alishah (MID), Kamal Kamyabinia (MID), Bashar Resan (MID), Ahmad Nourollahi (MID), Ali Alipour (FWD), Godwin Mensha (FWD)

Predicted Lineups (Kashima Antlers):

Kashima Antlers will be full of confidence heading into the game tonight, and know that this is their game to lose. A spirited display in the first leg at home took them to victory, and the Brazilian magic of Leo Silva and Serginho bore fruit yet again.

Speaking of Serginho, the Brazilian has been in prolific form since joining the J-League giants, and his goals have been the primary reason that the Antlers look so comfortable in the tournament so far. Undoubtedly, he will be the man to look out for up front yet again.

It is unlikely that Antlers’ boss Go Oiwa would want to change a winning formula, and with no suspensions or injuries to worry about as such, we think he will line up with the same side that played the first leg:

Kwoun Sun-Tae (GK), Daigo Nishi (DEF), Jung Seung-Hyun (DEF), Gen Shoji (DEF), Shuto Yamamoto (DEF), Hiroki Abe (MID), Leo Silva (MID), Yuto Misao (MID), Shoma Doi (MID), Yuma Suzuki (FWD), Serginho (FWD)

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