AFC Champions League : Know Bengaluru's Opponents - Al Wehdat

Tuesday, 31 January 2017|The RW
Reads

Know your opponents: What Bengaluru FC are up against in their AFC Champions League Qualifier – Al-Wehdat FC

Bengaluru FC are up against the odds, as they prepare to take on Al-Wehdat FC from Jordan on Tuesday night in the AFC Champions League. The Jordanian club is one of the most successful clubs in the country’s footballing history, having won 15 domestic league titles so far.

They have further asserted their dominance over football in Jordan by winning the league seven times in the last decade.

However, Al-Wehdat have not been as successful on the continental stage. Rather, their title rivals in Jordan Al Faisaly and Shabab-Al-Ordon have been able to perform much better in the Champions League, winning the competition twice and once, respectively.

Meanwhile, A-Wehdat’s best performance in the competition has been a semi-final finish, something that they have achieved three times, by now. This is something that will give a lot of hope to Bengaluru FC, who are coming on the back of a memorable run to the finals in the AFC Cup, last season.

However, the current form could be an area of concern for BFC, who are on a two-game losing streak, after having won their first three matches in the I-League. The last two losses (both 1-2) at the hands of title rivals East Bengal and Churchill Brothers would have affected the morale in the BFC camp, as the Blues are struggling to create goalscoring chances at the moment.

On the other hand, Al-Wehdat have been on immaculate form, coming on the back of a nine-match unbeaten streak. In fact, they have won all of their last seven matches.


The Team

Although Al-Wehdat have three foreigners in their squad, it is their home grown players that Bengaluru FC manager Albert Roca needs to be wary of. More importantly, it is the combination of the foreign and domestic player,  that can do the real damage.

While they have already had Croatian defender Sebastijan Antic and Brazilian striker Francisco Wagley, Al-Wehdat have recently signed a third foreigner in the form of Palestinian winger Ahmad Maher.

Antic is set to be paired with 24-year-old 6-foot-2 sensation Tareq Kattab in defence. Despite his age, Kattab has loads of experience, having played for both Al-Wehdat and Al-Shabab. He also has the experience of 27 internationals behind him. The duo will be backed-up in goal by Amer Shafi, who has 136 caps for Jordan.

Al-Wehdat’s attack also looks fierce with Brazilian Wagley leading the line, and the pacey Maher and Abu-Amrah giving their support from the wings.

However, it is the midfield where Al-Wehdat can hurt Bengaluru FC the most. Captain Amer Deeb was doubtful for the match but is set to lead his team out on the pitch at the King Abdullah II Stadium on Monday. His presence in the middle of the park will give the stability that Al-Wehdat need, imparting more freedom to the more creative players.

Creative influence like Abdullah Deeb and Abdelfettah have the ability to run riot in the middle of the park, and the Bengaluru FC players will need to keep this duo in check if they are to harbour any hopes of progressing to the group stage of the premier continental competition in Asia.