Socceroos' AFC Champions League draws revealed

The 2021 AFC Champions League opponents of Mitch Langerak, Adam Taggart, Rhyan Grant, Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Redmayne were all revealed in Wednesday night's group stage draw.  

Grant and Redmayne's Sydney FC and Langerak's Nagoya Grampus will commence their involvement from the group stage while Taggart and Maclaren may well come head-to-head in the playoff phase. 

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This year's iteration of the tournament has seen it expand to a group stage of 40 teams, with five East Zone and five West Zone groups of four. 

The reigning A-League champions have been drawn in Group H alongside South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Japan's Gamba Osaka and Singapore's Tampines Rovers, who are making their first appearance in the competition. 

Maclaren will lead the line for last season's A-League runners-up Melbourne City as they prepare for a preliminary round meeting with Shan United FC of Myanmar. 

Victory in that match would setting up a tantalising clash with fellow Socceroos striker Adam Taggart and his new club Cerezo Osaka in the playoff round. 

READ: Adam Taggart seals a move to Japan

Advancement to the group stage would see Patrick Kisnorbo's outfit drawn in Group J alongside China's Shandong Luneng FC, Port FC of Thailand and Hong Kong club Kitchee SC. 

The final A-League club in action are Brisbane Roar, who will be vying for a place in Group F where they would face defending AFC Champions League winners Ulsan Hyundai FC as well as Thailand's BG Pathum United and Vietnamese club Viettel FC. 

First, they face a preliminary round clash with Kaya FC-Iloilo of the Phillipines on Wednesday 7th April. Success on this stage would set up a clash with Chinese club Beijing FC with a group stage place at stake. 

Mitch Langerak

Another team to watch are Japan's Nagoya Grampus, who qualified for the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2011 after a strong campaign from Socceroos goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, who kept a record 17 clean sheets in 34 J. League matches. 

READ: Mitch Langerak breaks J.League clean sheet record on dramatic final day

Nagoya have been Group G alongside China's Jiangsu FC, Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim and a playoff winner.

The AFC have confirmed that the group stage, which will be played in the East Zone from April 21 to May 7, is set to take place in centralised venues. 

The top two teams will progress into the knockout rounds of the competition alongside the three highest ranked third-placed teams.

Further details, including the time and location of the preliminary and playoff rounds, are still to be announced. 

2021 AFC Champions League Key Dates

Preliminary Round - Wednesday 7 April 2021

PS1: Brisbane Roar vs Kaya FC-Iloilo (PHI)

PS2: Melbourne City FC vs Shan United FC (MYA)

Playoff Round - Wednesday 14 April 2021 

PO1: Beijing FC (CHN) vs Winner PS1

PO2: Cerezo Osaka (JPN) vs Winner PS2

Group Stage - April 21 to May 7

Group F: Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR), BG Pathum United (THA), Viettel FC (VIE), AUS-PHI-CHN P/O winner

Group G: Jiangsu FC (CHN), Nagoya Grampus (JPN), Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS), KOR-THA P/O winner.

Group H: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR), Gamba Osaka (JPN), Tampines Rovers (SIN), Sydney FC (AUS)

Group J: Shandong Luneng FC (CHN), Port FC (THA), Kitchee SC (HKG), JPN-AUS-MYA P/O Winner