A repeat of the 2017 final, which was lost by Alhilal, where Al Hilal will meet Aroa Reds Dimonz on Saturday in the first leg of the Asian Champions League final and the return match will be held after two weeks in Japan.

In this analysis FilGoal.com reviews the Japanese Urawa Reds, who won the title twice in 2007 after beating Iranian Sepahan Isfahan and in 2017 after beating Al Hilal and trying to answer a question, how does Al Hilal win this time?


The Red Diamonds are in 10th place in the J-League with three rounds to go, scoring 31 goals and conceding 44 goals.The Japanese are the third weakest team in the group to meet leaders Kashima Antlers in a one-goal defeat.

Historically, the team won the J-League title with its new system, which started in 1992 only twice in 2003 and 2016, and won the Throne Cup three times in 2005, 2006 and 2018.The team owns Mitsubishi International and is the most valued club in Japan with 29.8 million euros.

Coach Otsuki Tsuyoshi, 47, a Japanese national, began his coaching career in 2000. From 2004 to 2011, he served as assistant coach for several technical managers of the team. After the dismissal of Takafumi Horie, the coach who won the AFC Champions League, Otsuki took over the interim technical leadership. For several days before the signing of Brazilian Osvaldo de Alvieira and Otsuki took over as assistant coach, and in May 2019 Osvaldo was dismissed and Otsuki took over the technical leadership of the team.

Otsuki relies on tactical drawing 3-4-2-1 in the team's games and relied on them in all the meetings he played with the team (28 meetings), except for one game in the Japan Cup, won 9 games, draw in 9 and defeat in 10 meetings.

Urawa climbed out of the group stage in second place with 10 points and Otsuki took over the technical leadership of the team and won in the round of 16 away to Ulsan Hyundai Korean 3-0 and then suffered a 2-1 defeat in Japan to face Shanghai China and draw 2-2 in China before drawing 0 1 in Japan and advance to the semi – final to face Guangzhou, China to win at home double and repeat the win away from home 1-0.

Expected configuration

Otsuki, as mentioned, is based on 3-4-2-1, the team's old plan five years ago before being changed by Takafumi Hori during his four-year driving career and brought back by Otsuki.

Substitute goalkeeper Fukushima will be in front of goalkeeper Ioanami, Suzuki and Makino in front of them. Five names appeared before Al Hilal two years ago.


The most prominent players in the squad are Fabrizio and Everton on loan from Porto.

Team absence: Nishikawa will miss the first leg of the yellow card build-up, and Takuya Aoki is missing the injury, with chances of joining the return leg and striker Motu missing for at least three months.

Urawa strengths

Continental focus

Urawa's first advantage over Al Hilal is Urawa's full focus on the AFC Champions League. As mentioned earlier, the team does not compete in the J-League and in the Emperor's Cup was eliminated months ago by Honda FC from the Round of 16. To avoid fatigue among the players while Al Hilal tops the league and chased by Al-Faisaly and Al-Ahli and lost five points after the defeat of Al-Nasr and draw with Al-Fath.

Crosses and golden heads

Urawa is characterized by a fiery attack which by the way is the same strength as Al Hilal's weapon.Gomez leads the tournament's top scorer with 10 goals followed by UAE's Al Wahda's Leonardo and then Urawa Reds veteran Shinzo Kuroki with 8 goals.Al Hilal is the strongest team in the tournament while Urawa is the fourth strongest attacking team.


Striker Moto, the second forwards after Kuroki, will be sidelined but will be replaced by Keno Sugimoto. Keno Sugimoto sometimes plays in the striker's position and Kuroki comes back in the late striker's position, as happened in Korea's Ulsan, for example, and absentee Yuki Motu plays that role as well, depending on the presence of the best player in the Brazilian team Fabrizio.


Aoki, who was absent from the team's attacking weapons, always came forward to make the numerical increase and in the Ulsan match he made the first goal for Urawa because of the numerical forward.

The team relies on building play and attacking on the right.


The team scored 4 goals in Ulsan on the way and in the return of all crosses, 3 of them from the header and the last goal of the cross and then header through Sugimoto and scored by Everton coming from behind.

In front of Shanghai, the team scored three goals, including two header and two goals by Shinzo Kuroki and in front of Guangzhou team scored the goal of the return game through a cross from Hashioka and a header from Kuroki.

Kuroki is an excellent player and always comes from the back where he returns to the center of the field to receive and build attacks with his teammates and then start all to enter the depth and score goals head without control


Urawa is a highly offensive and limb-based team, so you'll always find Hashioka number 27 on the right and relatively late for the 41st player, Sakini Takahiro, who is almost offensive in the same level as striker Kuroki and almost equal to Fabrizio. Everton No. 8 in the attack while Aoki delayed No. 16 in which Abe will participate


In another match, such as the match against Guangzhou, the team from which to attack is different.


The team's last positive offensive point is a shot from outside the area, which Fabrizio and Skeny Takahiro, who scored both goals against Guangzhou in a semi-final first leg, are good at.

The rate of this duo on goal is 2.5 shots per game.


Fabreso is always a deceptive weapon in the fixed balls or corners that are passed and prepared for Fabrizio, who always shoots in goal.


In addition to Takahiro especially to the offensive depth if the ball from the right through Haishuka.


Density of midfield

Plan 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3 With the return of Fabrizio and Nagasoa, the plan turns defensive to 3.6.1, which means that the Japanese team defends with nine players, which gives him great intensity in the midfield.



But what about the weaknesses? The team has two fixed weaknesses and two points due to absences.

Offensive rush

The attacking rush is costly, especially at the midfield level. The team defends 9 players in the case of planned or built back-to-back attacks, but in rebounds the team suffers clearly, especially as the team attacks at least 6 players. The center in front of the rebounds and with Aoki also absent Abe will be lonely. The first leg will be in Saudi Arabia, but only if Al Hilal scored early and had to withdraw Urawa for attack.

In the Ulsan match, for example, the player was able to dodge the late midfielder and kicked the ball from the midfield and advanced to the limits of the penalty area and shot in the net of Urawa because of this gap.


In addition, this was repeated more than once in the Guangzhou match, for example, but the Chinese team was not successful at the time in scoring


Stationing the defense

Positioning the defensive trio is a loophole for the Japanese team especially Makino, could be a lone striker amid 5 of the Uroa defense and easily scored which also happened in the Ulsan match.


The second negative is the concentration, especially with the installation of the trap infiltration, a major weakness can be exploited Crescent Crescent, especially through the wings of the team Aldosari or Carilo.



Absence of the primary guard

The Japanese team will suffer in the first leg especially with the absence of the main goalkeeper Nishikawa, who participated in the match Alhilal last year, will be substitute goalkeeper Fukuo Shima, who did not participate in only two games with the team this season in July and the second days ago against Kashima.

Overall, Urawa is a stubborn opponent and skip strong opponents before facing Al Hilal. Missing more than 5 confirmed chances to score but it should be cautious as this team always achieve positive results off the ground starting from the match Ulsan and win away after the defeat in Japan, then draw with Shanghai back and forth and then beat stubborn Guangzhou back and forth without receiving any goals .

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