Uzbekistan stars Odil Ahmedov and Alexander Geynrikh have recently left to join Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala and Suwon Bluewings in South Korea respectively.

But Pakhtakor have attempted to offset the loss of the pair with the recruitment of Serbian striker Dusan Savic, defenders Georgian Kakhi Makharadze and Timur Kagirov and promising youngster Temurhodja Abdukhalikov.

And coach Ravshan Haydarov is hopeful the new additions will help fill the void when they bid for the ideal start to their Group B campaign with victory over Saudis Al Nassr.

"Abdukhalikov has played in many matches while we also tested Kakhi Makharadze in different positions," he said. "Only Dusan Savic didn't play in friendly matches yet. I hope, he as a professional player adapts to our style of game quickly."

Al Nassr coach Dragan Skocic believes Pakhtakor will remain formidable opponents despite the departure of Ahmedov and Geynrikh.

"I know that Pakhtakor have lost two of their best players, but I don't think that will seriously affect the performance of the team," he said. "I am assured that there are worthy replacements at the players in club."

Al Nassr have strengthened their side with the recent signing of Bader Al Mutwa and the Kuwait striker will undoubtedly be the Asian Champions League debutants' biggest threat.

Meanwhile, Al Sadd travel to Iran for their opening Group B game to face Esteghlal at Azadi Stadium and coach Jorge Fossati revealed mood in the camp was high ahead of the match.

"It will be a tough game for us, our opponents are very strong but let me also point out that Esteghlal's rivals will be tough too because they'll be playing Al Sadd," said the Uruguayan.

"We all have good self-confidence and I hope we perform well enough to get a good result. I believe whoever plays better on the pitch gets all the points."

Esteghlal coach Parviz Mazloomi hinted he may not even field his strongest side for the game, wary of not hampering their domestic league hopes.

The Tehran based side are currently second in the Iran Pro League and Mazloomi is looking to find the balance between the club's domestic and continental duties.

"We are playing at home and rest assured we'll be making the most of the conditions. The first three points are always very important when you step into a tournament and this time we want to start like never before," he said.

"I arrange the line-up based on my players on the bench. Maybe I don't send out all my good players in the opening game, I must have some alternatives on the bench in case of injuries or when unpredictable situation occurs."