ADNOC Pro League returns into action following a lengthy halt that lasted for 22 days where UAE national team played two of their 2022 World Cup qualifiers, while the first leg games of Pro League cup opening round have been held.
The seventh round of the league is set to be held over three days from Thursday, October 21 through Saturday October 23 with fans being promised some mouth-watering clashes in this week of the competition, especially after national team players have rejoined their squads.
There will be at least three big games during the week as Al Ain travel to Al Wasl’s Zabeel Stadium in an attempt to maintain their position at the top, while Al Nasr make the short trip across to meet Sharjah.
Shabab Al Ahli and Al Jazira will continue their quest to keep their challenges alive at the top end of the standings.
Three clashes will take place on the first day of match-week 7, as Baniyas are hosting Khorfakkan, while Al Orooba play Ittihad Kalba in the two early games at 6.15 pm.
Baniyas have played some good football, but have failed to translate this into wins.
They have only collected 5 points from a 2-1 win against neighbors Al Dhafra in Round Four along with two draws against Al Nasr and Al Wahda that saw them lie in tenth place with five points.
Khorfakkan, on the other hand, have shown a lot of resilience with two consecutive wins over against Al Dhafra and Emirates.
They also drew twice, with Al Wahda and Al Wasl to stand one spot clear of Baniyas in ninth place.
Both Ittihad Kalba and Al Orooba are yet to register wins so far.
Ittihad Kalba are marginally better in eleventh spot with four draws, while Al Orooba are second to last with three points earned from three draws.
Both will be looking at full points in attempt to turn the tide and put the spate of negative results behind them. The last match on the opening day will be Al Wasl hosting leaders Al Ain.
Al Wasl have been maturing gradually, as seen by their fine win against Shabab Al Ahli in the previous round.
But ‘The Emperor’ will be bent on following their slogan ‘There is no alternate to winning’ and continue their resurgence to the top.
Three more games will take place on Friday as Ajman are set to host Al Dhafra at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium, while Al Nasr make a short trip to Sharjah.
Ajman have shown a lot of improvement and quality in recent weeks having gone into the international break with a crucial 1-0 win over Sharjah, that left them in a relatively enviable spot in the standings as they currently lie in fifth.
Al Dhafra, on the other hand, have a single win against wounded Emirates as they sit in 12th place with four points, and full points against a constantly improving opponent will go a long way in pushing them up the standings.
In the second early match, Sharjah will be eyeing full points when they host Al Nasr.
At their best, Al Nasr have been in full flow securing the best goal scoring rate to their names with huge wins against Al Orooba (5-0), Emirates (4-0) and Khor Fakkan (3-0).
However, they have dropped vital points following a 2-2 draw against Baniyas and defeats to Ajman and Al Jazira.
Currently occupying third position, Sharjah have been among the front challengers.
However, their ambitions took a bit of a setback following their last-gasp loss to Shabab Al Ahli in Round Four and their Round Six 1-0 loss to neighbors Ajman.
Sharjah will be all out to overcome relapse against Ajman and pus themselves through among top sides.
Shabab Al Ahli and Al Jazira, presently in fourth and second places respectively, will also be looking at full points heading into the seventh round.
Shabab Al Ahli went down by a lone goal against Al Wasl, while Al Jazira had to dig in deep for their 1-0 win against visiting Al Orooba.
But with a better position on the horizon, both teams will be eyeing full points, no matter what it takes.
The seventh week of action will conclude with eighth-placed Al Wahda hosting bottom-of-the table Emirates at 6.15 pm on October 23.
Coming off their loss to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr in the 2021 AFC Champions League last week, Al Wahda will be out to make amends against an opponent who is yet to register a single point in the league.