FC Goa will start their maiden AFC Champions League campaign with a home fixture against Qatari outfit Al-Rayyan SC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday.
FC Goa head into the game after a month-long training break following the conclusion of ISL 2020-21. The Gaurs finished fourth in the league phase before crashing out of India's top-tier league after losing to eventual champions Mumbai City FC on penalties in the semi-finals.
FC Goa earned the right to become the first-ever Indian club to play in the AFC Champions League by virtue of topping the ISL standings in the 2019-20 campaign under Sergio Lobera's guidance.
Al-Rayyan, on the other hand, finished third in the recently-concluded Qatar Stars League season, drawing 1-1 with Al Khor in their final league game. They were the runners-up in the 2019-20 QSL season and qualified for the AFC Champions League 2021.
FC Goa vs Al-Rayyan SC: Recent results
FC Goa, who have not tasted defeat since 19 December 2020, are on a 15-game unbeaten streak, the longest by any ISL team. The Gaurs were knocked out of the semi-finals of the ISL 2019-20 by Mumbai City FC through a penalty shoot-out.
Elsewhere, Al-Rayyan were on course to challenge for the QSL title, but a series of poor results towards the end derailed their campaign. The Qatari outfit finished third and will feature in the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League 2022.
FC Goa Form Guide: W-W-D-D-D (most recent last)
Al-Rayyan SC Form Guide: W-W-L-L-D (most recent last)
FC Goa vs Al-Rayyan SC: Predicted XIs
FC Goa (4-4-2): Dheeraj Singh (GK), Seriton Fernandes, James Donachie, Ivan Gonzalez, Saviour Gama, Glan Martins, Edu Bedia, Alexandro Romario Jesuraj, Brandon Fernandes, Jorge Ortiz, Ishan Pandita.
Al-Rayyan SC: Fahad Younes (GK), Shoja Khalilzadeh, Dame Traore, Khalid Muftah, Yousif Umar Din, Franck Kom, Abdulaziz Hatem, Mouafak Awad, Yacine Brahimi, Naif Abdulraheem Al-Hadhrami, Yohan Boli.
FC Goa vs Al-Rayyan SC: Telecast and streaming details
Star India have procured the television and digital rights of all the Asian Champions League games in India from their parent organization, Fox Television. Star Sports 3 will televise FC Goa vs Al-Rayyan SC from 10.30 PM IST onwards. The game can also be streamed on Disney+Hotstar VIP and Premium.
The game will also be exclusively covered hereby in the Sportskeeda LIVE Commentary Blog.
FC Goa vs Al-Rayyan SC Prediction
Both FC Goa and Al-Rayyan SC like to play with the ball, but the Qatari outfit are favorites to win the hard-fought contest.
Prediction: FC Goa 1-2 Al-Rayyan SC