Brisbane Roar’s ACL opponents guide

It’s that time of year again as Hyundai A-League fans prepare for midweek football in the AFC Champions League.

It all kicks off tomorrow night (Tues) when Wanderers host Japanese powerhouse Urawa Reds at 7pm (local), followed by Roar at home to Thai opposition. 

The 2017 version promises an exciting ride and there is no better time to have a look at the teams – and some of the big names and Aussie players – that will be facing John Aloisi’s Brisbane in the coming months. 

Group E: Brisbane Roar

Muangthong United

United has a team jam-packed with Thai internationals, and the champions are aiming to make an impact in the continental competition for the first time.

There are stars such as Tristan Do, Sarch Yooyen and goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan who all shone against the Caltex Socceroos in November – though twinkle-toed Chanathip Songkrasin has gone to Japan. 

Throw in prolific Brazilian striker Cleiton Silva and former Korea Republic international and Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Lee Ho and this a strong team, especially at home.

Muangthong warmed up for Tuesday night’s game with Roar by winning 1-0 in the Thai League over Sukhothai on Friday night.

Kawin Thamsatchanan

Kashima Antlers

The most successful team in Japanese history with no less than eight J-League titles to its name, the latest of which came in 2016.

Despite that domestic success, the men from Ibaraki have yet to really make an impact on the AFC Champions League but given that the team finished runner-up in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup that may be about to change.

They have strengthened with Kwon Sun-tae, the Champions League winning goalkeeper from Jeonbuk Motors. And they come

Kashima Antlers

Ulsan Hyundai Horangi   

Brisbane locked horns with the Tigers in 2012 as the Koreans went on to win but this Ulsan team is not at that level.

Thrown in at the last minute after the expulsion of champion Jeonbuk Motors, Ulsan finished fourth in the K-League in 2016 and are still preparing for the competition.

Will still be a tough competitor with former Hyundai A-League stars Dmitri Petratos – who only left Roar a couple of weeks ago, and former Jets defender Lee Ki-je in the ranks.

Dimi Petratos has signed with Ulsan Hyundai in Korea.