2013 AFC Champions League
Number of Teams: 32
Number of Groups: 8 (four teams in each group)
Qualification to Round of 16: Top 2 from each group
The AFC Champions League is Asia’s premier club competition, featuring the 32 best teams from across the continent – 16 from the East and 16 from the West.
The competition runs from February to November each year, and in the Group Stages and Round of 16 is split along East/West lines. Only from the Quarter Finals onwards can teams from East and West be drawn together. This is to cut down on the travel required, given the vast distances between countries in the East and West.
The 32 teams come from 10 countries and are as follows:
Saudi Arabia: Al-Shabab, Al-Ahli, Al-Hilal, Al-Ettifaq
Qatar: Lekhwiya, Al-Gharafa, El Jaish, Al-Rayyan
Iran: Sepahan, Esteghlal, Tractor Sazi, Saba Qom (qualifiers)
UAE: Al-Ain, Al-Jazira, Al-Nasr (qualifiers), Al-Shabab (qualifiers)
Uzbekistan: Pakhtakor (West), Bunyodkor (East), Lokomotiv Tashkent (qualifiers)
Japan: Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Vegalta Sendai, Urawa Reds, Emperors Cup Winner (TBC)
Korea: FC Seoul, Jeonbuk Hyundai, Suwon Bluewings, Pohang Steelers
China: Guangzhou Evergrande, Beijing Guoan, Guizhou Renhe, Jiangsu Sainty
Australia: Central Coast Mariners, Brisbane Roar (qualifiers)
Thailand: Muang Thong United, Buriram United (qualifiers)
Four teams from the West and two from the East will take part in the AFC Champions League playoffs in early February to determine the final three teams for the Group Stages.
The fixture for the playoffs is below.
||Saba Qom – Al-Shabab
||Al-Nasr – Lokomotiv Tashkent
||Buriram Utd – Brisbane Roar