The Uzbek side reached the quarter-finals last year but are yet to get their first win of the 2021 campaign, having started off with 3-3 draw against Tractor FC before being held 0-0 by Air Force Club.
The reverse fixture on Tuesday saw an efficient display of counter-attacking football by Sharjah as they ceded possession to Pakhtakor but stuck two times either side of the half-time break to walk away with a 4-1 victory and cruise further at the top of the group, leaving Pakhtakor to languish in fourth place.
Having lost talismanic winger Jaloliddin Masharipov over the winter transfer window, and with Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok misfiring, the hopes of Pakhtakor lie on the shoulders of Serbian forward Dragan Ceran.
The 33-year-old has scored twice in the 2021 AFC Champions League and created three chances for his teammates and his presence in the attacking third will be vital if head coach Pieter Huistra’s men are to get a result against the group leaders.
AFC Champions League Grp. B Matchday 4
Sharjah Cultural Club