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AFC Champions League
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AFC Champions League: Date, schedule, history & more

The AFC Champions League is Asia’s equivalent to the UEFA Champions League when the best teams in the continent battle it out every season.

Previously known as the Asian Champion Club Tournament, the competition was rebranded in 2002, and the winner qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup.

Since 2002, teams from seven different countries have won the title, which is currently worth $4million to the winning club.

When is the AFC Champions League?

The tournament typically begins with a preliminary round in mid-August, which is followed by a play-off stage later in the month.

The group stage usually starts during the month of September and runs through until December, when Matchday Six is concluded.

The knockout stages begin in February, and the two-legged final of the tournament will take place on Saturday, 10th May 2024 and Saturday 24th May 2024.

What time is the AFC Champions League?

The kick-off times of the individual matches can depend on the time difference between the different regions.

Some games start at around 18:00 (UK Time), while others can begin at 23:00 (UK Time).

What is the format of the AFC Champions League?

Following the conclusion of the preliminary round and the play-off matches, 40 teams will take part in the group stages.

A draw places each club in a four-team group, with a total of 10 groups overall, with each team playing their opponents home and away.

Only 16 teams can progress to the knockout stages, so all group winners plus the six best second-placed teams make it into the last-16.

After two-legged affairs, the winning teams on aggregate go through to the quarter-finals, then the semi-finals and then the two-match final.

How to watch the AFC Champions League

Every game in the AFC Champions League, including all 120 group matches, will be available to watch on bet365's Live Streaming service.

Streaming service Triller TV have the rights to show selected AFC Champions League games in the UK.

AFC Champions League locations

The East Asia representatives are made up of clubs from 11 different nations – Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, 13 associate nations in the West Asia area have teams able to qualify for the annual tournament – Bahrain, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UAE and Uzbekistan.

AFC Champions League History

Since the tournament was reformatted in 2002, teams from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan, China, Qatar and Australia have lifted the trophy.

The most successful nation during the last 22 years has been Japan, with five successful teams, including three-time winners Urawa Red Diamonds.

Since an Asian Cup tournament was set up in 1967, Saudi League team Al-Hilal have been the most successful club – with four titles to their name.

Urawa, the current champions, defeated Al-Hilal in the latest final in 2022, with the latest edition spread over 2023 and 2024.

In its current format, three players are tied for leading scorer in a single campaign, with Baghdad Bounedjah (2018), Adriano (2016) and Muriqui (2013) all scoring 13 goals.

AFC Champions League Odds

As we head towards the quarter-finals of the 2023-24 tournament, Saudi duo Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal are both 11/4 to take the title.

Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea are available to back at 6/1 in the Outright market, while Al Ittihad are 13/2 to claim what would be their third AFC Champions League title.

Japan’s Yokohama F-Marinos are 8/1 to lift the trophy in May, while South Korean side Jeonbuk Motors can be backed at 9/1

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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