While last season saw Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) being drawn together with Japan's Kashima Antlers who were the then reigning champions, their task for 2020 has got considerably harder.
That is because they have in their Group G, two other teams who have already won the Asia's most elite club competition twice in Guangzhou Evergrande and Suwon Bluewings.
The Chinese Super League side and K-League 1 sides will provide a stern test for The Southern Tigers who will only be competing in the group stage for the second time in their existence.
A Japanese team will fill the other slot in the group but that candidate is yet to be known because the Japan football season is not over yet. Kashima are one of the possible opponent that may emerge.
As for the other Malaysian team participating in the competition, Kedah will slot into Group E with Beijing FC, Chiangrai United and another playoff winner should they get through their own playoff qualifers.
Kedah will start with a home tie against Hong Kong's Tai Po in the first qualifying round and the winner will take on FC Seoul in South Korea with the winner of that progressing to the group stage.
Groups in full:
Group A: Al Wahda (UAE), Al Shorta (IRQ), PO Winner (QAT/IRN/JOR/KUW), PO Winner (KSA, UZB, TJK)
Group B: Al Hilal (KSA), Al Shabab (UAE), Pakhtakor (UZB), PO Winner (QAT/IRN/IND/BHR)
Group C: Al Duhail (QAT), Al Taawoun (KSA), Sharjah FC (UAE), Persepolis (IRN)
Group D: Sepahan FC (IRN), Al Sadd (QAT), Al Nassr (KSA), PO Winner (UAE/UZB/IRQ)
Group E: Beijing FC (CHN), Chiangrai United (THA), PO Winner (JPN/AUS/SGP/IDN), PO Winner (KOR/MAS/HKG)
Group F: Ulsan Hyundai (KOR), Shanghai Shenhua (CHN), Perth Glory (AUS), PO Winner (JPN/THAI/PHI/MYA)
Group G: Japan second club, Suwon Bluewings (KOR), Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN), Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS)
Group H: Sydney FC (AUS), Yokohama F Marinos (JPN), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR), PO Winner (CHN/THA/VIE)
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UNBEATEN . Sejak Park Hang-seo mengambil 🇻🇳, masih belum Mengalami sebarang kekalahan kepada negara Asean. Menang 2️⃣0️⃣, seri 5⃣, jaring 5⃣ 7⃣ dan bolos hanya 1⃣ 2⃣. Hanya tinggal Timor Leste yang belum dikalahkan kerana belum pernah bertemu di pasukan senior mahupun B23. 👏 . Incredible run by PHS in charge of Vietnam senior and U23 side. The latest 2-2 draw with Thailand brings his tally to 25 match unbeaten against Asean opponents. . #ParkHangSeo #Vietnam #VietnamU23 #VietnamU22 #Malaysia #Indonesia #Thailand #Myanmar #Laos #Singapore #Brunei #Cambodia
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