The AFC Champions League group stages get underway this week with Al-Ittihad taking on AGMK on Monday. The Saudi side was one of a few clubs in the Pro Leagues to make waves this offseason by adding a seemingly unending procession of stars. Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Fabinho were among the notable stars to join the Jeddah side.
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Saudi Arabia’s massive influx of spending this summer drew headlines across the globe, and this is the first step in seeing whether or not it will pay dividends on the field. Al-Ittihad join Al-Hilal in the AFC Champions League from the nation, and, for now, this competition remains the most likely way for these sides to gain the kind of international attention that such spending is clearly looking for. Al-Ittihad is already playing in this year’s club world cup, thanks to Jeddah’s status as the hosts of the tournament, but for a continued presence on the international stage, these teams
Al-Ittihad win easily over their Uzbekistani opponents here. The real test will come later in the tournament as the pressure mounts to see if they can justify all that investment. Pick: Al-Itithad 3, AGMK 0.