Fresh faces – one known and one new – will ring in two fighting Dubai giants in the 10th game week 2020/21 of the Arabian Gulf League.
The Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club welcomes Mahdi Ali and the coveted ex-Fluminense tactician Odair Hellmann will be present for Al Wasl. The dreary goalless draw against Al Dhafra last weekend brought the aforementioned pacemakers in 2019/20 to seventh place and proved incurable for the job prospects of Spanish rookie trainer Gerard Zaragoza.
The well-respected former head of the United Arab Emirates, Ali, who led the cherished “Golden Generation” for the past decade, was announced on Monday as a replacement. This was a third assignment at the head of a merged club, which he represented with distinction during his active time. An immediate rise in the leaderboard is required to get the Awarded a one and a half year contract, Starting with the trip on Friday to a 12th-place Fujairah, who has lost four of their last five top games.
“I thank the club management for their trust” said 55-year-old Ali, who posted a 42.1 percent profit during his previous stint from December 2017 to May 2018. “We are waiting for the correction to proceed and the team to return to its natural place – Fujairah will begin the correction
“I follow all the league games and have a complete idea of the team in the past.”
The 43-year-old Hellmann will be on the field for the first time on Thursday when Wasl takes on a runner-up Al Jazira, who is striving for a fifth AGL triumph in a row.
The 43-year-old was poached by the Rio de Janeiro grandees earlier this month. He’s taking control of a ninth-placed team that won three straight games under Emirati Salem Rabie before Thursday’s 95thth-minute loss to 2018/19 champions, Sharjah.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of Brazilian players and coaches,” said Hellmann, who was Brazil’s deputy manager when they won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “Al Wasl has very good players.
“In time, the players will understand my thoughts.”
🗣 | حميد يوسف عضو مجلس إدارة شركة الوصل لكرة القدم المتحدث الرسمي:
المدرب أودير هيلمان ، يقود تدريبات الفريق اليوم المدرب اجتمع مع الطاقم الفني وناقش قلأمور وناقش قلأمور رلقت. pic.twitter.com/H8SChekZQe
– AlWasl SC (@AlWaslSC) December 12, 2020
Heavyweights in contrasting form clash on Friday when third-placed Al Nasr throws Al Ain off balance.
Inspired by the summer additions of the UAE center forward Sebastian Tagliabue and the Israeli magician Dia Saba, the Blue Waves are fighting hard to end the 35-year wait for their fourth AGL to be lifted. A record 14th Al Ain’s crown seems unlikely, however, after they fell eight points after a 0-0 stalemate with low Ajman in sixth place and spoke again about a winter team overhaul.
The unbeaten start of championship leaders Sharjah will be subjected to a strict test at the fifth Bani Yas. Ajman can try to leave the relegation zone against teammates Khor Fakkan and fourth-placed Ittihad Kalba will have to survive the suspension of star striker Peniel Mlapa against a struggling Al Wahda who have won three AGL games. Mlapa was censored with a three-game ban and a fine of Dh50,000 for colliding with the referee in last week’s 2-1 win against Khor Fakkan.
The bottom hatta must continue its pursuit of a three point opening this season at the 10th Attempt around 10th-placed Al Dhafra.
MATCH WEEK 10 FASTENERS
18:00 Al Dhafra against Hatta
18:00 Bani Yas versus Sharjah
21:00 Al Wasl versus Al Jazira
18:00 Ittihad Kalba versus Al Wahda
18:00 Fujairah versus Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club
21:00 Al Nasr versus Al Ain
21:00 Ajman versus Khor Fakkan
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