The matches are coming thick and fast, as we are already back with another weekend of Arabian Gulf League football. Matchweek 20 is nearly upon us and it brings along some exciting games right from the beginning, headlined by the match of the week between Al Wahda and Al Ain. Below, we shed light on potential thrillers and preview another exciting matchweek in the Arabian Gulf League.
Ajman and Shabab Al Ahli kick off the action on Thursday at 5:45 pm at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium. While for completely different reasons, there’s no doubt that both sides will be fighting for the three points until the dying moments of the game. Shabab Al Ahli now sit fifth with 33 points and seek to move into the top four. Meanwhile, Ajman find themselves in the middle of the relegation battle and will look to move further away from the drop zone. The Oranges will try to keep the momentum alive after their come from behind creditable 3-3 draw with Al Wahda, which lifted them up to 12th place, level on 10 points with 13th-placed Fujairah.
Meanwhile, bottom faces top when basement dwellers Hatta host league leaders Al Jazira at Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium. Hatta have undoubtedly been delighted with their second win of the season against Fujairah, which revived their survival chances. As they closed the gap on relegation rivals Fujairah and Ajman to two points only, another positive result for Hatta could heat up the relegation battle even more. Meanwhile, Al Jazira seek to bounce back after their draw with Shabab Al Ahli, which cut their lead at the top of the table to two points, which means that a defeat could see them drop to second place and replaced by second-placed Bani Yas.
After three consecutive defeats, Fujairah will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Al Wasl at 8:15 pm. Fujairah’s most recent defeat to Hatta saw them drop to 13th place with 10 points and will now be looking to collect all three points in hopes of escaping the relegation zone. Guests Al Wasl have also been winless for the past three games after settling for three straight draws to sit in midtable with 29 points.
Sharjah will be seeking to end their five-match winless run after falling to three defeats and two draws. The King’s disappointing run of form in the second half of the season saw them drop to third place with 37 points, four off Al Jazira who replaced them at the top. Both sides enter the game with completely different objectives; the hosts will be looking to maintain their title chances, while Khorfakkan want to keep the momentum alive after their 5-1 win over Al Dhafra as they aim to edge closer to the safety of mid-table.
The action resumes on Friday when Ittihad Kalba welcome Al Dhafra in a mid-table clash at 5:45 pm. Both sides enter the game on the back of defeats, which left the Tigers in ninth place with 26 points, six above Al Dhafra who occupy the 10th spot.
Two of the top four are set to battle at Bani Yas Stadium this weekend when Bani Yas welcome Al Nasr at 5:45 pm. A thrilling clash is certainly expected, as both sides will be pressing to maintain their chances at winning the title. The Sky Blues have been in great form and will be looking to maintain their fine performances to keep the pressure on leaders Al Jazira. Al Nasr also look to keep their title chances alive as they currently sit fourth on 36 points, three off Bani Yas, and five below Al Jazira.
Al Nahyan Stadium will see Al Wahda welcome Al Ain in the most anticipated match of the week at 8:15 pm. Despite the Clarets’ and Al Ain’s unbalanced performances, fans will still be gearing up for an exciting match. Both teams will be looking to end their two-game winless run, as Al Ain suffered a defeat and a draw and Al Wahda settled for two draws. The Boss also seek to edge closer to the top four, as they sit sixth with 31 points, two above the Clarets.