Al Nassr Predicted Lineup vs Istiklol Dushanbe – Upbeat CR7 gunning for first ACL goal

Al Nassr Predicted Lineup vs Istiklol Dushanbe – Flying high on a 10-match winning run, Al Nassr look to build on their impressive start in the 2023/24 AFC Champions League (ACL) when they host FC Istiklol Dushanbe at the Al-Awwal Park this Monday evening. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured below) is seeking his first goal in the competition.

Al Nassr vs Istiklol Dushanbe AFC Champions League team news

David Ospina suffered a shattered elbow in a game in January for Al Nassr and has not made an appearance for his side ever since. Even though he remains with the team, there is uncertainty over his future, as he is yet to make an appearance this season. He is not even registered to the AFC Champions League squad either, so he won’t be able to take part in this.

That shouldn’t be an issue for the Knights of Najd though, because of their impressive set of foreign players. Due to AFC rules, they can only play five non-Saudi players and might have to bench someone like Alex Telles as a result.

Al Nassr Predicted Lineup vs FC Istiklol Dushanbe

Nawaf Alaqid (GK), Sultan Al-Ghannam, Abdulelah Al-Amri, Aymeric Laporte, Mohammed Qassem, Abdullah Al-Khaibari, Marcelo Brozovic, Abdulrahman Ghareeb, Otavio, Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo

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(Photo by Antonio Pozo / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

Al Nassr Predicted Lineup vs Istiklol Dushanbe – Our top three

Cristiano Ronaldo – Aiming for first ACL goal

Cristiano Ronaldo heads into this in impressive form having scored in Al Nassr’s recent win over Al Ta’ee. He has scored in every competition he’s played in, be it the World Cup, Champions League or Premier League. Now, the Portuguese forward is hungry for his first goal in the AFC Champions League.

He’ll probably be marked tightly by Ivory Coast defender Cedric Gogua, who helped Istiklol keep a clean sheet in their last ACL game. Ronaldo, who has scored 10 goals this season, is flying high and looks prime to make a big impact against Istiklol.

Sadio Mane – Wing wizard ready to torment opposition

After an underwhelming debut in the Asian competition, Sadio Mane is eager to prove his quality. The ex-Liverpool winger’s quality is unquestioned and he’ll look to torment the opposition defenders with his smart movement through the wings.

Mane has six goals and an assist in eight Saudi Pro League appearances this season. He could face a stern test against bullish Tajikistan full-back Romish Dzhalilov, who has helped them keep 11 clean sheets this season. Mane needs to use his clever off-the-ball runs and get into the key areas to enhance Al Nassr’s goal potential.

Mane in Al Nassr Predicted Lineup vs Istiklol Dushanbe
Photo by Icon sport

Abdulrahman Ghareeb – Creative genius eyeing more assists

Abdulrahman Ghareeb has been an unsung hero for Al Nassr this season. The Saudi Arabia winger has six assists to his name this season, as many as Ronaldo himself! That also includes an assist in the AFC Champions League in the last game.

Ghareeb will be eager to find spaces in the final third to destabilize the opposition backline. His primary objective will be to find the likes of Ronaldo and Mane in the ideal areas in the box with his fantastic final-third passes.

Will Talisca play against Istiklol Dushanbe?

Talisca is Al Nassr’s second-highest goal-scorer this season, but he might not get to start this. With only five non-Saudi players allowed to start ACL games, the Brazilian is unlikely to start over Mane. He could come off the bench later to make an impact and add goals to Al Nassr’s advantage.

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(Photo by Henrique Casinhas / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Al Nassr vs Istiklol Dushanbe – The Final Word

Al Nassr are aware of the importance of winning home matches to dominate in the AFC Champions League. They’ll need to win this to take control of Group E and create a decent lead from the others. It’s a perfect opportunity for Ronaldo & co to flex their strength, thrill the fans with exciting attacking football and send a message of intent to the others.

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