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AFC Champions League 2023 Predictions and Betting Tips

With the addition of new stars coming to various Asian leagues, the Asian Champions League is only going to get better. Brace yourself for the AFC Champions League 2023, as we are expecting one of the most exciting and competitive seasons yet.

AFC Champions League Fixtures

The AFC Champions League has a different type of format compared to the European Champions League. First of all, there are 40 participating teams going into the group stages of the competition. There are 10 groups with four teams each, divided into the East Asian groups and  West Asian groups.

Asian Champions League Kaito Kamiya

The teams within each group play one against each other in a round-robin system. The premier team within every group will advance to the elimination round directly, while six more runner-up teams (three from each zone) will advance as well.

Within the elimination stage, the AFC Champions League teams from each zone are kept apart from each other until the final. Contrary to European competitions, the Asian Champions League still prefers using the away goal rule to determine the advancing team.

The Saudi side, Al-Hilal from Riyadh, is the competition’s major team, having won the ACL trophy four times until now. The Blue Waves have also played in the final five more times but failed to capture the title on those occasions. The runner-up team is the current champion, Urawa Red Diamonds from Japan, with three titles. They are tied with Pohang Steelers at three as well.

Asian national league winners get a direct spot in the competition while lower-ranking teams can earn their spot through qualifications. So for example, you have teams from the Saudi Pro League, the Persian Gulf Pro League, the Qatar Stars League, and the Uzbekistan Super League competing from the West Region alongside teams from the K League 1, J1 League, Chinese Super League, and Thai League 1 coming in from the East Region.

AFC Champions League Schedule

The AFC Champions League 2023 will feature a slight time frame format change for the first time this season. Instead of having an inter-year schedule starting from spring to autumn, it will now be beginning in September.

Based on the current format, there are going to be 151 matches played this season. Each team will play at least six games in the group stage, accounting for a total of 120 games in the first part of the competition. Once the elimination stage starts, there are going to be 31 more games, including the final.

Opposed to the European Champions League final, the AFC Champions League winner is determined after two fixtures. The first leg will be played on 11 May 2024, while the second leg is scheduled for 18 May 2024.

The first round of the group stage AFC Champions League fixtures is set to be played between 18 and 20 September 2023. Once the advancing teams are determined, the Round of 16 starts on 12 February 2024.

AFC Champions League Stats

Checking out the AFC Champions League table for every team is the basic thing one can do when checking out the situation in the competition. But thanks to the availability of various stats, people can get a much more direct insight into the overall situation in the league.

AFC CL Game Stats

During the previous season, there have been a total of 130 games played. Obviously, Urawa Red Diamonds and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC were the ones that played the most games during the season, nine games each, as they played in the East Region finals or overall semi-finals.

During the season, there have been 32 games that ended without a winner, accounting for 26% of total games. As far as home wins go, teams winning at home field accounts for 43% of the time. When it is all said and done, home teams at the ACL have a 20% better performance overall.

AFC CL Number of Goals Stats

As far as goals scored, Urawa Red Diamonds were the highest-scoring team in the competition, bagging a total of 31 gaols, averaging 3.44 a game. They were a bit better at home, averaging 3.75 a match and 3.20 per game away.

Al Shabab FC Riyadh ranked as the second top-scoring team with 20 goals. They had an overall average of 2.86 per game. Interestingly, the other finalists, Al Hilal FC Riyadh, averaged 2.00 goals a game and scored 14 in total in seven games.

At the start of the season, Al Hilal FC Riyadh had an expected goal xG of 2.62 but failed to deliver. As far as the champions go, Urawa Red Diamonds came with an xG of 2.55 and were able to overperform, which led them towards winning the title.

AFC CL Halftime Stats

Interestingly enough, Urawa Red Diamonds are a team that was never behind at the half. In nine games, they were leading in seven and had a draw at the half two times. Al Shabab FC Riyadh is the same, with five leads and two draws.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC had a tendency to overturn the result. They had only two leads in nine games. They mostly played levelled at the half, which happened five times and were losing twice at the half.

The other finalist, Al Hilal FC Riyadh, had a 3-2-2 record at the half. But the situation gets a lot better for them in the second, with a score of 6-1-0. The same thing goes for Al Shabab FC Riyadh, as they improved to 6-1-0.

Urawa Red Diamonds had a bit of a down second period of the game, with 6-1-2. On the other hand, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC showed that they performed much better in the second half with 5-3-1.

AFC Champions League Format

The AFC Champions League 2023 league format counts 40 teams competing in the competition proper. 27 teams will be competing from the West Region, while the East Region will be adding 26 competitors.

There are four teams from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, and Uzbekistan from the West and four teams from Japan, South Korea, China, and Thailand from the east.

All of the AFC Champions League teams are separated into ten groups of four teams. The first team in each group will be advanced to the Round of 16, while six more are added as the best runner-up teams in the group.

The elimination stage is played on a best-of-two format, where each team plays at home and away. In order to determine the winner, the away goal is counted. If the teams still tie, they will go to extra time and then penalties.

Teams from the East and West are separated all the way to the final. At that point, the winner is determined also in a two-game header. The team that performs better in the final will get to lift the ACL champions trophy.

AFC Champions League Winners

When it comes to the most successful club in the competition, Al-Hilal is the first name that comes to mind. The team from Riyadh has won the competition a record number of four times, with their most recent wins coming in 2019 and 2021.

Right behind them are the Pohang Steelers, with three titles. However, their last win came all the way back in 2009. Urawa Red Diamonds also have three ACL titles in their trophy cabinet, and they are the current champions of the continent.

As far as nations go, teams from South Korea have the most trophies at 12. Japanese teams follow with eight, and Saudi Arabia with six trophies.

Year Champions
2022 Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan)
2021 Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
2020 Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea)
2019 Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
2018 Kashima Antlers (Japan)

AFC Champions League Players

While the AFC Champions League 2023 will have players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Neymar, and Malcolm competing for the top scorer and player award, the fact remains that the competition has always had starts that produced excellent results and performances.

Here is an overview of the best scorers during the past years.

Year Best Goalscorer Goals
2022 Edmilson Junior (Al-Duhail) 8
2021 Michael Olunga (Al-Duhail) 9
2020 Abderrazak Hamdallah (Al Nassr) 7
2019 Bafétimbi Gomis (Al-Hilal) 11
2018 Baghdad Bounedjah (Al-Sadd) 13

Of course, the competition deserves a unique turnaround towards the best player in the competition.

Year Most Valuable Player
2022 Japan Hiroki Sakai (Urawa Red Diamonds)
2021 Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal)
2020 Yoon Bit-garam (Ulsan Hyundai)
2019 Bafétimbi Gomis (Al-Hilal)
2018 Yuma Suzuki (Kashima Antlers)

How To Bet On The AFC CL?

The AFC CL is an extremely popular tournament, with fans watching and betting from all over the world. As such, most bookmakers offer an excellent range of AFC CL odds, making betting on this competition easier.

If you’re new to betting on this tournament, or if you’ve not been as successful as you’d hoped for, try our bettingexpert tipsters. Our experts post a wide array of AFC CL betting tips every season, remember that all of our tips are free to take advantage of.

As well as offering expert betting tips, we also offer a range of betting guides designed to help you improve every aspect of your betting. Found in our How To section, these guides cover a range of sports and competitions, as well as betting theory and strategy. Take a look at our How To Bet On Football guide, an extensive look into the best ways of betting successfully on this sport.

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