The brilliant Bani Yas is facing the acid test of the title ambitions of the Arabian Gulf League in ailing Sharjah


(UAE Pro League).

The struggling Sharjah’s hopes of winning the 2020/21 Arabian Gulf League are practically over, but they could have a big say in whether surprise leader Bani Yas will take the title.

Contrasting sides meet on Saturday in the outstanding game of the 23rd game week. The hosts recorded just one win in eight games, falling from favorites to third-placed teammates in early February, while Sky Blues topped the field for the first time since October with their 1-0 win over Hatta before the international break .

Daniel Isaila’s forces begin a demanding end to a remarkable campaign one point ahead of Al Jazira. Abu Dhabi’s pride, stabbed by the 2-0 defeat by neighboring Al Wahda, has to face a tough test against an Al Wasl who was unbeaten in 12 top division games.

Henk ten Cate’s second assignment at WahdaFriday’s opener against Ittihad Kalba and Al Ain – aided by the victories of goalkeeper Khalid Essa and Togo striker Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba at the monthly awards in March – host an Al Nasr as it prepares for next weekend’s Arabian Gulf Cup final against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club. Mahdi Ali’s fourth-placed men have been unbeaten for 19 years and face relegation fighter Fujairah in third place.

Ajman, who is in second place, is hoping to bring back a three-point gap for safety over a Khor Fakkan who is almost mathematically certain. The lowest hatta faces a similar task against Al Dhafra.

MATCH WEEK 23 FASTENERS

Friday

17:45 Hatta versus Al Dhafra

17:45 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club versus Fujairah

20:15 Al Wahda versus Ittihad Kalba

20:15 Al Ain Al Nasr

Saturday

17:45 Al Jazira versus Al Wasl

17:45 Khor Fakkan versus Ajman

20:15 Sharjah versus Bani Yas

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