Bunyodkor - Pohang Steelers ACL Preview: Uzbek giants need victory to progress

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS


BUNYODKOR

Nesterov
Karimov, Gafurov, Filiposyan, Djuraev
Karpenko, Salomov, Turayev, Kozak, Carney
Murzoev

POHANG STEELERS

Shin HY
Kim DH, Kim WI, Kim GS, Shin GH
Shin HM, Hwang JS, Cho CH
Go MY, Asamoah, Roh BJ


Bunyodkor can welcome back central defender Artyom Filiposyan after he was suspended for their goalless draw with Adelaide United on matchday five. Shavkat Salomov is set for a key role after coming off the bench in Australia, alongside influential midfield duo Jan Kozak and Lutfulla Turayev. Kamoliddin Murzoev has impressed up front in this season's ACL and will lead the line.

The Tashkent club are currently top of the table in Uzbekistan, although they played a game more than second-placed Nasaf Qarshi who are level on points with them. Bunyodkor eased past Olmaliq 2-0 on Friday.

Pohang have a major concern ahead of this game, with Romanian attacker Ianis Zicu failing to make the trip to Tashkent, which it is understood was due to fatigue. However the good news is the Steelers can welcome back Kim Won-Il and Shin Hyung-Min from suspension.

Domestically Hwang Sun-Hong's side aren't in the best of form, as they've slipped down to ninth after claiming just four points in their past six games including a goalless home draw with bottom club Daejeon Citizen on Friday.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Bunyodkor have won the past four Uzbek championships, while they've also reached the Round of 16 in Asia every season in the past four years, with 2008's semi-final appearance their best effort.

  • The Uzbek giants made headlines several years ago when they signed Brazilian star Rivaldo, while they've also previously had Zico and Luiz Felipe Scolari as head coaches.

  • Coach Mirjalol Qosimov led the club to their best ever ACL finish in 2008, before taking up the national team job where he failed to guide Uzbekistan to the 2010 World Cup and soon after returned to Bunyodkor.

  • Pohang are three-time Asian champions having won the competition as recently as 2009, along with previous successes in 1997 and 1998.

  • In the previous encounter between these two sides, Pohang went down 2-0 at home to Bunyodkor with Lutfulla Turayev and Kamoliddin Murzoev netting the goals.

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