Everything you need to know about our AFC Champions League 2019 opponents

Familiar faces and formidable opponents make up the AFC Champions League 2019 group stage picture for our Hyundai A-League clubs.

Both Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory learnt their group stage opponents on Thursday night, as the draw was conducted in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Jets have a snapshot of what their group stage draw will look like should they emerge victorious from their qualifying play-off matches.

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Sydney FC

Have Sydney FC got the group of death?

The reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers have been drawn in Group H alongside the Chinese and Japanese Champions – and two of Melbourne Victory’s 2018 group stage opponents.

Now a powerhouse of Asian football, Chinese Super League winners Shanghai SIPG possess star quality in the form of Brazilian stars Oscar, Elkeson and Hulk.

Oscar
Oscar celebrating a goal for Chelsea.

Fans will be familiar with Oscar, who played more than 100 times for Chelsea, and won two English Premier League titles before his Asian sojourn. 

His compatriot, Hulk, is notorious for his powerful left foot and technical ability to match.

If he combines with 29-year-old Elkeson, Sydney FC’s defence will have to be on their toes for the full 90 minutes.

Kawasaki Frontale are no strangers to the big stage either. They have already won this season's J-League title and possess an array of home-grown stars. 

One final spot in Group H is yet to be determined, with Steve Corica’s side set to come up against either the fourth seeded Korean team, Malaysia’s Perak or Kitchee from Hong Kong.

Hulk
Hulk in action against Melbourne Victory in the 2018 AFC Champions League.

Melbourne Victory

The Hyundai A-League Champions will be up against Chinese superpower Guangzhou Evergrande in Group F.

Victory have previous history with the Fabio Cannavaro-managed outfit, having beaten Guangzhou in a memorable 2-0 win back in 2014.

Cannavaro, 45, was the last man to win the Ballon d’Or before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the game’s highest honour, and captained Italy to their 2006 FIFA World Cup title.

Cannavaro
Cannavaro celebrating Italy's victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

Brazilian midfielders Paulinho and Talisca are just a taste of the attacking firepower Cannavaro has at his disposal as he plots a deep run with Evergrande.

Paulinho started his career in Lithuania and Poland, before lighting up the world stage at Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona. 

Talisca, on the other hand, is an attacking midfielder built like Yaya Toure, but perhaps one of the most skilful players in the Chinese Super league. 

Despite having never represented Brazil at the senior level, the 24-year-old is one of the most exciting prospects in Asia, and cannot be afforded the space to work his magic.

Victory will be joined in Group F by the South Korean FA Cup winners – either Ulsan Hyundai or Daegu FC.

The other Group F entrant will be the winner of play-off three, which could be a Japanese side, Thailand's Chiangrai United, Philippines champions Ceres-Negros or Yangon United of Myanmar.

Talisca
Talisca celebrating his goal against Guizhou Hengfeng in the Chinese Super League.

Newcastle Jets

Ernie Merrick’s side have been allocated Group E should they navigate past two qualification matches.

Group E will also feature the third-placed team from the K-League, Johor Darul Ta'Zim from Malaysia, and the winner of play-off two.


To kick-off their charge to group stage qualification, Newcastle will play either Singapore’s Home United or the Indonesian Liga 1 Champions in a preliminary round two clash held on February 12, 2019.

Should Merrick’s side progress through that encounter, they will travel to Japan to take on the J-League’s fourth place finisher in a play-off round fixture on February 19, 2019.

Currently, Consadole Sapporo hold fourth position in the J-League with two match days remaining, with reigning AFC Champions League winners Kashima Antlers just one point ahead in third spot.