I-League champions Bengaluru FC will play against Jordanian club Al Wehdat SC in their AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage 2 fixture in an away tie on January 31.
Unlike the last two seasons, a tweak in the format saw Bengaluru playing out of the West Zone. The winner of the tie between Bengaluru and Jordan League champions Al Wehdat will face Al Wahda of UAE in the play-off stage to be played on February 7.
The winner of the play-off match will qualify for the AFC Champions League Group Stage.
Defeat in either of the games will see Bengaluru FC, the AFC Cup runners-up side, drop down to the group stages of the AFC Cup, the Bengaluru-based club said on its website.
An improved Member Ranking for India meant that Bengaluru FC, the AFC Cup runners-up side, need not compete in a Preliminary Stage 1, needing them to win two single-legged ties to make the group stages.
The AFC Cup too has been given a tweak in format where the teams are divided in five regions.
Should Bengaluru make the AFC Cup, they will be playing out of the South Region and will be clubbed with Maziya S&R (Maldives), Albani Dhaka Limited (Bangladesh) and one of Mohun Bagan, Colombo FC (Sri Lanka), Thimpu City (Bhutan) and Club Valencia (Maldives) who will battle it out in the Preliminary Stage of the Cup.
AFC Champions League (ACL) is the top tier club tournament in Asia while AFC Cup is meant for clubs from developing football countries of the continent.