The new year kicks off with three matches, as Al Wasl face Shabab Al Ahli at Zabeel Stadium in the Dubai Derby, Al Nasr play with Al Wahda at Al Maktoum Stadium, and Bani Yas clash with Al Dhafra at home in matchweek 12 of the Arabian Gulf League.
Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli will be looking to improve their positions on the standings after collecting only 15 points each. Shabab Al Ahli earned three wins and six draws so far, while Al Wasl have five victories and zero draws to their name.
Al Wasl coach Odair Hellmann said that this type of matches requires concentration and that his side has to replicate their recent strong performances. On the other hand, Shabab Al Ahli coach Mahdi Ali believes that his players understand the importance of winning this match and that they are determined to return to winning ways.
Al Nasr will play with Al Wahda in an exciting clash, as the Blues are looking to continue chasing Sharjah and Al Jazira at the top, while the Clarets are looking to further extend their recent positive results.
Al Nasr coach Krunoslav Jurčić said that this kind of matches sharpens the players’ enthusiasm and enhances their desire to excel, while Al Wahda’s Vuk Rasovic focused on the importance of fighting throughout the match and welcomed the return of team captain Ismail Matar.
Bani Yas and Al Dhafra will both be seeking to return to winning ways and earn a positive result. The Sky Blues succeeded in occupying the fourth place with 20 points and established their position as an influential team on the standings, while Al Dhafra sit midtable on 15 points.
Bani Yas coach Daniel Isaila said that his side need to be cautious against Al Dhafra, while remaining confident. Meanwhile, Al Dhafra coach Aleksandar Veselinović confirmed that his team wants to achieve a positive result away from home.