Persepolis vs Kashima Antlers - Home win offers great value in Iran

Hostile atmosphere and home record gives Persepolis the edge
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Persepolis predicted to beat Kashima Antlers in the AFC Champions League on Saturday (Getty Images)

Persepolis vs Kashima Antlers Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Persepolis are predicted to beat Kashima Antlers in the second leg of the AFC Champions League final on Saturday. The Iran club have a fantastic record at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran and can make it count against Kashima Antlers.

Persepolis Tehran FC


Persepolis fell to a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final in Japan. It was a close game which ended on a sour note for the Iran club, right-winger Siamak Nemati sent off in added time which rules him out in Tehran.

Persepolis are unbeaten in eight Persian Gulf Pro League matches this season and have an incredibly strong defence. 36-year-old captain and central defender Seyed Jalal Hosseini will have to step up once again, his experience and leadership is a big part of Persepolis' success.

Branko Ivankovic’s side are undefeated in their last 16 home matches in the AFC Champions League. Striker Ali Alipour will be the main threat once again alongside Nigerian striker Godwin Mensha.

Persepolis FC strikers Ali Alipour and Godwin Mensha can make the difference against Kashima Antlers (Getty Images)

Kashima Antlers


Kashima won the first leg 2-0 with their Brazilian players scoring both goals. Leo Silva put the Japanese club ahead and Serginho wrapped it up, making up for compatriot Leandro who was declared fit but didn’t make the squad.

The Antlers played a J1 League on Tuesday with a 3-2 win against Kashiwa Raysol keeping the club in 3rd position on the table. Manager Go Oiwa rested most of his first choice starters with Takeshi Kanamori, Koki Machida and Kazuma Yamaguchi scoring the goals.

This is new territory for Kashima who have never played in Iran. Dealing with the big crowd at the Azadi Stadium will be a huge challenge especially if they fall behind early. Right-backs Atsuto Uchida and Yukitoshi Ito are injured alongside Leandro.

Head-to-Head


These clubs met for the first time last week as Kashima Antlers beat Persepolis 2-0 in Japan. It was Kashima’s Brazilian players making the difference with Leo Silva and Serginho on the score sheet.
Winger Siamak Nemati lost his head for the Iran club and was sent off in added time which rules him out of the match in Tehran.

Match Up


The Persepolis defence is their strength and they will need to be at their best to keep a clean sheet. It will be almost certainly required as they have to score four goals if the Japanese club score in Iran deu to the away goals rule.

This is an intriguing match up and the first goal could be key. Persepolis strikers Ali Alipour and Godwin Mensha have plenty of speed and can keep Kashima Antlers on the back foot in Iran.

Key Statistics


  • Persepolis are undefeated in their last 16 home matches (AFC Champions League).
  • Persepolis have drawn 6 of their last 12 home matches (AFC Champions League).
  • Persepolis have scored 2 or more goals in 6 of their last 8 home matches (AFC Champions League).
  • Kashima Antlers have scored 2 or more goals in 5 of their last 6 away matches (AFC Champions League).
  • Kashima Antlers have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 4 away matches (AFC Champions League).
  • Kashima Antlers have never played in Iran.

Verdict


Persepolis are great value at home considering their strong record at the Azadi Stadium. They matched Kashima Antlers in Japan despite the 2-0 defeat and will fancy their chances at home.

Failing to score an away goal and needing to overcome a two goal deficit puts Persepolis in a precarious position. However, I think they can win and are an outside chance to take the tie to extra time.

Best Bet: Persepolis Win @ 2.44 - 4 Units
Correct Score Tip: Persepolis Win 2-0 @ 12.50 - 1 Unit
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Matthew Marshall 10 November 2018

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