The new Arabian Gulf League leaders, Al Jazira, face a tough test when Cup kings Shabab Al Ahli visit Dubai Club on Saturday.
Abu Dhabi pride put Sharjah at the top of the rankings for the first time this season when their 10 men suffered a dominant 3-0 defeat last weekend. Stiff opposition, however, face a third game in a row when Mahdi Ali’s men get off at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
The ex-boss of the United Arab Emirates has completed an unbeaten series of 15 games in all competitions and thus secured the last places in the President’s Cup and the Arabian Gulf Cup. The win will also bring just a five-point deficit to the top, with seven games remaining.
Problems at the other end of the table dominate when the bottom Hatta takes on the third from bottom Fujairah.
The Tornado are determined to be five points behind the Wolves, who sit nervously on the edge of the drop zone and have lost seven of their last eight top games. Also on Saturday, Al Wasl at Al Ain wants to rebound from the disappointment in the AG Cup semifinals against Shabab Al Ahli and third-placed Bani Yas. fresh from inspiring coach Daniel Isaila Ink to see a contract extension until 2023, Meet Ittihad Kalba fresh from the AG Cup. The last four disappointments on penalties against Al Nasr.
Fourth-placed Blue Wave, who face Shabab Al Ahli in both cup showpieces, will hope to inflict more misery on the out of shape Sharjah, whose grip on second place is weakening after four games without a win. Seventh-placed Al Wahda has to be confident of defeating relegation-threatened Ajman and the teams lost in midfield as Al Dhafra travels to Khor Fakkan.
MATCH WEEK 19 FASTENERS
17:30 Al Ain versus Al Wasl
17:30 Ittihad Kalba versus Bani Yas
20:15 Al Jazira versus Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club
20:15 Hatta versus Fujairah
17:30 Ajman versus Al Wahda
17:30 Khor Fakkan versus Al Dhafra
20:15 Al Nasr versus Sharjah
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