Who are Melbourne Victory’s AFC Champions League opponent?

After a thrilling draw in their opening 2018 AFC Champions League group stage last week, Melbourne Victory are in China on Tuesday night for a clash with Chinese Super League heavyweights Shanghai SIPG.

Kevin Muscat’s men showed tremendous character to draw with Ulsan Hyundai a week ago and will need a similar performance to return home with maximum points.

While SIPG has yet to begin their domestic campaign, they kicked off their ACL tilt last week with a narrow win over Kawasaki Frontale in Japan.

Find out a bit more about the Chinese side below.

How did they qualify?

Shanghai SIPG qualified for the Asian Champions League play-offs by finishing second in the 2017 Chinese Super League season, six points behind winners Guangzhou Evergrande.

To take their spot in Group F, Shanghai defeated Thai side Chiangrai United 1-0 in a playoff in January thanks to a Yu Hai goal just after half-time.

What is their history in the Champions League?

This is the third-straight year Shanghai SIPG has qualified for the Asian Champions League.

In its debut appearance in the competition back in 2016, Shanghai was drawn in the same group as Melbourne Victory.

In the first clash at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Victory recorded a memorable 2-1 win. SIPG got its revenge in the second match, defeating Victory 3-1 at Jinshan Stadium.

Shanghai topped the group and went on to the Quarter-Finals, before going down to eventual winners Jeonbuk Hyundai.

In 2017 SIPG went one better and made the semi-finals, before being knocked out by eventual winners Urawa Red Diamonds.

Former Chelsea star Oscar netted in the ACL for Shanghai SIPG overnight. Image: Twitter (@TheAFCCL)


Who are their key players?

Shanghai's imports need little introduction with Brazilian trio of Elkeson, Hulk and Oscar spearheading their attacking arsenal.

English Premier League fans will know of Oscar, who made over 200 appearances for Chelsea before securing a big-money move to China in 2017.

Powerful-striker Hulk joined SIPG from Russian club Zenit St Petersburg in 2016 in another big-money move and is currently the club's captain.

He has also featured for Portuguese powerhouse Porto and has represented Brazil on 47 occasions.

Elkeson is a star of the ACL and featured for Shanghai last time they faced Victory.

The classy playmaker has won two Champions League titles and three Chinese Super League titles with Guangzhou Evergrande before making the move to Shanghai in 2016.

And Chinese stalwart Wu Lei is another to keep an eye on. The pacy winger has gone on to make over 300 appearances for the Red Eagles, while he’s also turned out for the Chinese national team on 48 occasions.

Did you know?

Shanghai SIPG’s coach Vitor Perreira previous job at 1860 Munich in Germany saw him managing current Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek for a short spell.