Crucial Decisions for Al-Nassr in the Face of Istiklol
Al-Nassr's Portuguese coach, Luís Castro, has made decisive choices by excluding his fellow countryman, Cristiano Ronaldo, the team captain, from the lineup that will face Tajikistan's Istiklol in the AFC Champions League.
This strategic move comes ahead of Al-Nassr's clash with Istiklol next Tuesday, marking the final round of Group Five matches in the continental tournament.
Al-Nassr secured qualification as group leaders, amassing 13 points, a comfortable 5-point lead over Iran's Persepolis, who secured the second spot. The exclusion of Ronaldo, one of the players expected to be left out of the squad traveling to Tajikistan, was reported by the sports newspaper "Al Riyadh" in its Monday edition. Additionally, there are anticipations that right-back Sultan Al-Ghannam will also be absent due to recent fatigue.
The team will also be without the Croatian duo Marcelo Brozović and Ali Lajami, both serving suspensions, along with the Brazilian Alex Telles, who is nursing a hamstring injury.
The upcoming Istiklol encounter marks Al-Nassr's first match following their 3-0 defeat to Al-Hilal in the Riyadh Derby on the previous Friday, part of the fifteenth round of the Saudi Professional League.
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