Preview: Kuwait SC v Kitchee

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Kuwait SC head into into the first leg of their AFC Cup quarter-final with Kitchee on Wednesday as heavy favourites. 

The Kuwait outfit are expected to dominate the Hong Kong-based club, having thrived in continental competition in recent years winning the AFC Cup on three occasions – in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

However, Kuwait SC coach Mohammad Ebrahim believes that it would be a grave mistake for his side to underestimate Kitchee as the Hong Kong champions finished second on the Group F standings before proceeding to beat Persib Bandung 2-0 in the round of 16 stage. 

"The match will not be easy as some might expect because our opponents are a strong team," Ebrahim told the official AFC website. "They rely on the physical strength of their players who also have good skills and speed, which means that we should expect a hard time.

"Kitchee reached this stage which means that we should be wary of their threat. We should try our best to get a good result tomorrow because we are playing at home and it could be hard to make a comeback in such stage of the competition."

Meanwhile, Kitchee will be looking to mirror last year's performance by reaching the semi-finals for the second consecutive time. Should they accomplish this, they will either face Malaysian side Pahang or Tajikistan club Istiklol in the last four. 

But, Kitchee head coach Abraham Aliaga is dealing with the threat of Kuwait first as he knows that the three-time champions will prove to be a formidable opponent. 

However, Aliaga is confident that Kitchee will emerge victorious as they have done a lot of preparation for the match. 

"We have prepared the team very well as we want to continue our good performances in the competition," Aliaga said. "Our main objective is to get a good result tomorrow before the second leg that we will be playing at home.

"We know Kuwait SC very well from their previous participation in the competition. However, we also have a good tactical and physical side and we are prepared very well to create some problems for our opponents tomorrow."