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Kuala Lumpur: The stage is set for Wednesday's AFC Champions League 2018 Group Stage draw with Asia's best teams set to find out who they will meet in next year’s flagship club competition.

With the likes of 2017 runners-up and two-time winners Al Hilal, 2006 and 2016 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Guangzhou Evergrande - who won their second title in 2015 - all in the fray, the 2018 edition of the AFC Champions League promises to be yet another mouthwatering specatacle for fans across Asia. 

The draw will also confirm the fixtures for the teams who will appear in the competition's Preliminary and Play-off stages.

Draw Principles

Group A, B, C, D (West)
Group E, F, G, H (East)

  • Country Protection.
  • Highest ranked MAs with the same number of slots will be drawn.
  • League champions are placed first followed by the remaining clubs from the
    same MA into reserved slots.
  • Implementation of Double Match Date System (Mon/Tue for West, Tue/Wed for East) to secure maximum coverage to the matches for spectators and TV.
  • Clubs which share the stadium will not play its home matches on the same day.
  • Avoid more than two (2) matches in same day in same country.

Group Stage Participants

West Zone:

Islamic Republic of Iran:  Persepolis FC, Esteghlal FC, Tractorsazi Tabriz

Qatar: Al Duhail SC, Al Sadd SC, Al Rayyan SC

United Arab Emirates:  Al Jazira, Al Wahda, Al Wasl

Saudi Arabia:  Al Hilal SFC, Al Ahli Saudi FC

Uzbekistan: PFC Lokomotiv

East Zone:

Japan: Kawasaki Frontale, Kashima Antlers, Cerezo Osaka

Korea Republic:  Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC, Ulsan Hyundai, Jeju United FC

China PR: Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua

Australia:  Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory

Thailand:  Buriram United

Hong Kong: Kitchee SC

Clubs in Preliminary / Play-off Stage

United Arab Emirates: Al Ain
Islamic Republic of Iran:  Zobahan FC 
Qatar: Al Gharafa SC
Uzbekistan:  FC Nasaf, Pakhtakor
Jordan: Al Faisaly
India: Aizawl FC
Bahrain: Malkiya Club

Korea Republic: Suwon Samsung Bluewings
Japan: Japan 4th Club (Emperor’s Cup Winners/League 4th Place)
China PR: Tianjin Quanjian
Australia: Brisbane Roar
Thailand: Chiangrai United, Muangthong United
Hong Kong: Eastern SC
Vietnam: FLC Thanh Hoa 
Malaysia: Johor Darul Ta'zim
Indonesia: Bali United
Myanmar: Shan United
Philippines: Philippines 1st Club (League champions)
Singapore: Tampines Rovers
Hong Kong: Eastern ​  

The draw for the group stage will be held on 6 December 2017, at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur.

Photos: AFP