The embattled Al Ain coach Pedro Emanuel is under pressure when his protégés visit the Arabian Gulf League leaders Sharjah.
The exhausted boss was beaten 4-1 by the resurgent Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club in week 15 of the game, putting him in a distant sixth place and intensifying the debate over the future of the former Porto defender. There will be much hope for a possible late debut for Shoya Nakajima.
Saturday’s opponents saw a momentum check last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Al Wahda and will be determined to get back on the road to winning after their advantage has been reduced to three points.
Shabab Al Ahli’s fifth place has been reinforced Mid-week by adding 2016 AFC Player of the Year Omar Abdulrahman on a free transfer. However, the celebrated 29-year-old is not expected to be able to continue his run in seventh place in Wahda with seven wins in all competitions.
The other games of the day include a fight between Hatta and Ajman in the basement, as well as third-placed Bani Yas traveling to midfielder Khor Fakkan.
A Bur Dubai derby between Al Nasr and Al Wasl leads the lead on Sunday. UAE icon Ali Mabkhout has a hat-trick for the trip to Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finalist Ittihad Kalba, and Fujairah, the runner-up, could escape relegation zone beating an Al Dhafra, the un-banned return legend Makhete Diop and Goalkeeper Khalid Al Senani will get along.
MATCH WEEK 16 FASTENERS
17:30 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club versus Al Wahda
17:30 Khor Fakkan versus Bani Yas
20:15 Hatta versus Ajman
20:15 Sharjah versus Al Ain
17:30 Ittihad Kalba versus Al Jazira
17:30 Fujairah versus Al Dhafra
20:15 Al Nasr versus Al Wasl
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