Dubai: The depth of title contenders is anticipated to additional intensify with leaders Sharjah travelling to satisfy Al Wahda whereas Al Ain host Shabab Al Ahli Dubai in Spherical 15 of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), this weekend.
Al Wahda will host leaders and defending champions Sharjah in Thursday’s late match, whereas the fixture between 13-time champions Al Ain and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will spherical off motion for the weekend within the Backyard Metropolis.
Sharjah head the league standings with 35 factors, whilst a litter of groups chase them down. The closest within the problem is Al Jazira with 30 factors, whereas Bani Yas (26), Al Ain (24) and Al Nasr (24) spherical up the highest 5 spots to date. Nonetheless, former champions Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (22), Al Wahda (22) and Al Wasl (20) are all inside placing distance within the subsequent three spots.
Sharjah coach Abdul Aziz Al Anbari is conscious of the essential nature of the subsequent few rounds if Sharjah is to efficiently defend its title.
“We respect Al Wahda as one of many conventional challengers for titles. Up to now, the encounters between our two groups have all the time been entertaining to soccer followers, and this time might be no completely different,” he mentioned.
Al Anbari cautioned his gamers to not drop their guard like they did of their final match as visiting Fujairah scored two fast objectives to in the end go down 2-3. “These are fundamentals of any sport and this was definitely not a very good factor to occur. We misplaced the ball simply within the a part of the match and allowed Fujairah to aim a comeback. We must be extra targeted and disciplined particularly whereas defending. If it was towards one of many stronger sides, we might have even misplaced out on factors,” he mentioned.
The Sharjah coach additional reminded his workforce that Al Wahda have strengthened their squad heading into the second leg of the AGL. “That they had accidents, however now they’ve been with all 4 professionals and a totally completely different squad that may compete towards the most effective. Their native gamers are nearly as good because the overseas professionals, so we will not take issues flippantly,” Al Anbari mentioned.
“However we imagine we’ve got the power to keep up our momentum and spirit and return with all three factors from Abu Dhabi on Thursday.”
In different matches, Bani Yas will host Fujairah and Khor Fakkan will make the journey to Dubai to play Al Nasr within the two early matches on Thursday. On Friday, Al Jazira will make the brief journey subsequent door to face Al Dhafra, whereas Al Wasl host bottom-placed Hatta within the early video games, earlier than Kalba entertain Ajman within the second late match.
Bani Yas v Fujairah, 5.30pm
Al Nasr v Khor Fakkan, 5.30pm
Al Wahda v Sharjah, 8.15pm
Al Dhafra v Al Jazira, 5.30pm
Al Wasl v Hatta, 5.30pm
Kalba v Ajman, 8.15pm
Al Ain v Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, 8.15pm