Marcello Lippi's Guangzhou Evergrande have been drawn against Australian newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals as they bid to become only the second team to retain the trophy.
The other eastern zone tie, drawn at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, pitches last year's runners-up FC Seoul into a daunting derby clash against Korean double winners Pohang Steelers when the competition resumes in August.
In the west, Al Ittihad will face UAE's Al Ain in a rematch of the 2005 final, when the Saudi side became the only team so far to successfully defend the Champions League title. And Qatar's Al Sadd, who won the tournament in 2011, were drawn against another Saudi club, Al Hilal.
After hitting form in their 5-1 away victory over Japan's Cerezo Osaka in the last 16, Guangzhou face an intriguing challenge from the Wanderers, who were formed just two years ago. Coached by former Socceroo Tony Popovic, they topped their group and recovered from a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the last 16 to become only the second Australian club after Adelaide United to reach the quarter-finals.
Korean sides have appeared in the last five AFC Champions League finals and one is assured of reaching the semis this year after Seoul were drawn against Pohang. But while Seoul contested the last final, it is Pohang who are the team in form. The 2009 Asian champions lead the K-League Classic table and they beat Seoul, who are currently ninth, 1-0 in April.
The west and east regions are kept apart until the final, meaning Guangzhou or Western Sydney will meet Seoul or Pohang in the semis. The final will be played over two legs on 25 October and 1 November, with the second leg to be hosted by the western team.