Esmail Ahmad: Al Ain are ready for Al Hilal challenge at AFC Champions League

Al Ain are ready for the challenge when they host Al Hilal in the first leg of AFC Champions League quarter-finals on 21 August.

Speaking to the Gulf News, Al Ain defender Esmail Ahmad revealed that the team was in the best form and the players were training with their greatest efforts.

“We are well aware that our mission will not be easy but at the same time we have all the reasons for excellence to reach the next stage of the continental championship,” Ahmad said.

In addition, the 34-year-old Moroccan revealed that his side had played two friendlies during the final preparation for the crucial match.

“The friendly matches were ideal for preparation but the actual contest will be way different. However, Al Ain will be ready to face the Saudi outfit 100 per cent. Coach Zoran Mamic has adopted the best methods to prepare our team technically, physically and psychologically,” he added.

It will be a rematch of the 2014 semi-final between The Gulf rivals, which the Saudi Arabian side won 4-2 on aggregate.

The return leg will be played out at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on 11 September.