J.League quartet look ahead to AFC Champions League group stage

J.League quartet look ahead to AFC Champions League group stage

The AFC Champions League group stage is set to get underway for four J.League clubs this week, with Japan's representatives aiming to get one step closer in their bid to capture a continental crown in 2022.

Kawasaki Frontale begin their journey first, with the defending Meiji Yasuda J1 League champions headed to Johor Bahru, Malaysia to take on local side Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C., Guangzhou FC of China PR, and Ulsan Hyundai of Korea Republic in Group I.

Yokohama F·Marinos are off to Ho Chi Minh City for Group H, where they’ll take on Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC of Vietnam, Australia’s Sydney FC, and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors who won the K League last season in the Republic of Korea.

Both Vissel Kobe in Group J and Urawa Reds in Group F will be based in Buriram, Thailand for the rest of April.

Vissel only have three teams in their group, with Shanghai Port FC recently withdrawing, but will still face off against Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee SC and Chiangrai United F.C., who won last season’s Thai FA Cup.

The Red Diamonds will go head-to-head with Lion City Sailors of Singapore, Shandong Taishan F.C. of China PR, and Daegu FC of Korea Republic.

The winner of each group will progress to the knockout rounds, while only the three best second-place teams out of the five East Region groups will join them in the last 16.

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