Preview: Naft Tehran v Al Ahli

TOP 5: Outstanding performers from the AFC Champions League Ro16 west zone

AFC Champions League debutants Naft Tehran continue their maiden campaign in Asia's premier club football competition when they host United Arab Emirates side Al Ahli in the quarter-finals.

After coming through the group stage unbeaten, Alireza Mansourian’s side booked their place in the last eight when they beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli on away goals, having won the first leg at home at home 1-0, before getting a crucial away goal in their 2-1 defeat in the second leg.

Naft narrowly missed out on winning a maiden Iran Pro League title last season and since then, Iran internationals Gholamreza Rezaei and Hossein Ebrahimi as well as Brazilian defender Leandro Padovani have left the Azadi Stadium.

Nevertheless, the recruitment of defender Jalal Hosseini, Brazilian Carlos Santos and Cameroonian striker Aloys Nong puts Naft in good stead going into the last eight match.

Naft's opponents on the day, Al Ahli, have also entered the unknown, having fallen at the group stage in each of their previous four appearances in the competition.

The Dubai side qualified for the knock-out stage after finishing in second place in their group behind their namesakes of Saudi Arabia.

In their last 16 match, they knocked out domestic rivals Al Ain on away goals, after the first leg finished goalless and the second in the Hazza Bin Zayed saw Al Ahli come from behind to draw 3-3.

In the off-season, Ah Ahli was rocked with the departure of Luis Jimenez, although the signing of Brazilian striker Rodrigo Lima will go some way in off-setting the departure of the Chilean midfielder from the Al-Rashid Stadium.

With neither side involved in domestic action, no major injuries have been reported by either side.