21 May 2019
Urawa Red Diamonds and Beijing Guoan go toe-to-toe at the Saitama Stadium in a fixture that will decide the faith of both teams. The sides are level in terms of points ahead of this final Group G fixture, but the hosts will advance to the knockout stage should they dodge a failure here.
Both teams have had identical returns from the opening five AFC Champions League group stage rounds (W2, D1, L2) and have also scored six goals each. However, the Japanese side has conceded one goal less than the Chinese outfit (four vs. five), which could eventually make all the difference in their pursuit of the knockout stage promotion.
Although one of Urawa’s two CL wins have come at this venue (3-0 over Buriram United), they have struggled to impress at home lately, suffering four defeats in their last five home games across all competitions (W1, L4). What’s more, three of those losses have seen the Red Devils fail to find the net, with Oswaldo de Oliveira’s men conceding precisely three goals per match twice in the process. But, if Urawa win here, it will probably be to nil given the fact that four of their last five competitive home triumphs have seen them beat their rivals without conceding a goal.
Meanwhile, the visitors have registered a win and a loss when on the road this CL campaign, with both of these games ending with the identical 3-1 scoreline. However, the Imperial Guards have gone from strength to strength away from home ever since a 3-1 loss to Jeonbuk back in March, racking up a six-game away winning run across all competitions. Five of those victories have been accompanied by a clean slate, with four of them ending with the same 1-0 scoreline. Still, Roger Schmidt has to worry about the fact his players have scored one goal or less in 11 of their last 14 competitive away races.
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