The 2021-2022 ADNOC Pro League season is almost upon us, with matchweek 1 titled "The Fans Matchweek" taking place across Thursday and Friday, as all 14 clubs swing their league campaigns into action.
And with fans returning to the stands once again, we are definitely in for another season of thrills and spills, where each of the 14 teams enters the new season with different sets of hopes and expectations.
The first two kick-offs of the new season will get underway at 19:15, as newly promoted Emirates host Shabab Al Ahli, and fellow new boys Al Orooba welcome Al Wahda at home.
Emirates and Al Orooba will be looking to capitalize on the home advantage and kick off their top-tier campaign with a positive result. They, however, have a tough task ahead as Emirates clash with Shabab Al Ahli who will be looking to build on their impressive performances of the second half of the 2020-21 season. Meanwhile, Al Wahda will be aiming to get off on the right foot after finishing off in seventh place last season.
Then, Ajman will host Al Nasr at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium at 21:30 in the final match of the day.
The action resumes on Friday when Al Jazira host Al Dhafra at Mohammad bin Zayed Stadium at 19:15. Al Dhafra will have a tough start to the season against the titleholders, who will be seeking to build on their last season's successes, especially after collecting several awards at the recently held UAE Pro League Awards Ceremony.
Meanwhile, Al Ain will be playing away from home against Khorfakkan at Saqr bin Mohammad al Qassimi Stadium. Al Ain want to secure the first three points and will be hoping for a more consistent season, while Khorfakkan will be aiming to maintain their last season's performances.
Sharjah will welcome Ittihad Kalba 21:30, as the home team will try to mimic their performances in the first half of the 2020-21 season, which saw them finish as the Winter Champions.
Meanwhile, Bani Yas will host Al Wasl in a highly anticipated match, as the runner-up will look to maintain their last season's performances which saw them compete for the title with eventual winners Al Jazira in a fierce battle.