The AFC Champions League resumes on Wednesday following a lengthy break with three evenly poised match-ups, while Thai outsiders Buriram United will look to slay another giant in the form of Iranian champs Esteghlal.
Esteghlal claimed their first Iranian title since 2009 after a season of rejuvenation, largely thanks to the return of former coach Amir Ghalenoei. FIFA.com looks back across the concluded season in the Iran Pro League.
Al Gharafa, El Jaish, Esteghlal, FC Seoul, Kashiwa Reysol and Guangzhou Evergrande all made it through to the last 16 of the AFC Champions League after an action-packed matchday 5.
The stakes are incessantly high in the Tehran derby, and with Esteghlal out to consolidate their lead and Persepolis aiming to relieve the troubles of last season, its 76th installment is the talk of Iran.
FIFA.com’s weekly review of club action in Asia and Oceania is highlighted by more glory for Iran’s Sepahan and New Zealand’s Auckland City, while there is also a look at the latest from Japan, Korea Republic and elsewhere.
The penultimate AFC Champions League matchday saw six sides - Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, FC Tokyo, Adelaide United, Sepahan and Ulsan Hyundai - cruise into the knockout stage with room to spare.