Attack-minded K-League side Ulsan Hyundai face a depleted Al Ahli from Saudi Arabia in the AFC Champions League final on Saturday with both seeking to become continental champions for the first time at Ulsan Munsu Stadium.
Tournament leading scorers Ulsan have won their last eight games in the competition to become the fourth Korean side in succession to reach the AFC Champions League final, with Kim Ho-gon’s side having scored 24 goals in their 11 match unbeaten campaign.
Al Ahli, meanwhile, are already without Mansour Al Harbi due to suspension while fellow defender Kamil Al Mousa is set to be ruled out through injury as they seek to follow in the footsteps of two-time winners Al Ittihad having beaten their Jeddah rivals in the semi-finals.
“We have looked at Al Ahli and we have analysed everything and we will look to attack as attacking is the best form of defence,” said Ulsan coach Kim.
“We have not prepared anything special for final as we have done so well so far, although we have made some small changes but this is normal.”
Kim is set to keep faith with the same side for the fourth consecutive game in the competition with the majority of the squad having been rested for Ulsan’s recent outings in the K-League as they seek to return the AFC Champions League title to Korean hands for the third time in four years.
“We have played many games in the AFC Champions League and the players have learnt a lot from these games, especially the away games, and this is very helpful,” added Kim.
“Also, we expect a lot of our fans to come to the stadium so this will also be in our favour.”
Al Ahli coach Karel Jarolim, meanwhile, will be forced into at least one change after Al Harbi was sent-off at the end of the semi-final second leg win over local rivals Al Ittihad, while Al Mousa is struggling to recover from a lingering groin injury which ruled him out of the last two games in the competition.
“We will play against a very tough team in the final. It has been difficult to get to the final and we are playing away from home, but I hope we can play well and win,” said Jarolim.
“Mansour is a big loss. He has played for the last two seasons with us on a regular basis, but I hope that the player who takes his place will do his best.
“And the moment, I do not think Kamil Al Mousa will be able to play in the game.”