Uzbekistan’s winger Dostonbek Khamdamov could find himself in a heated derby if new employer Al Nasr tries to extend Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s disappointing season.
The outstanding game of the 13th game week in the Arabian Gulf League brings the third-placed visitors against hosts who have been relegated from the pacemakers of the years 2019/20 to a team with a desolate eighth place – and are without a win in five top games.
The Blue Wave ranks were also halfway through the exciting arrival of the 19-man national player Khamdamov from Pakhtakor, replaces Curleya’s Brandley Kuwas in her four-player quota. The ex-Anzhi Makhachkala broad man trained in the UAE this week and is expected to further boost the division’s third-highest scorers.
“We have a big and important derby against Shabab Al Ahli, whom we respect very much,” said boss Krunoslav Jurcic. “They’re one of the big teams and they have a group of good players.
“But we will start the game with the aim of winning and collecting all three points.”
Both sides will be strengthened by the presence of their internationals in the UAE on Friday. These players missed the first leg of the Arabian Gulf Cup quarter-finals last week while preparing for Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Iraq.
With the winter transfer market in full swing, Khor Fakkan could face Brazilian winger Paulinho against runner-up Al Jazira on Saturday after his capture from Levski Sofia, Bulgaria. Al Ain’s lengthy pursuit of Japanese winger Shoya Nakajima was unsuccessful prior to the trip to Hatta.
Top runners Sharjah will look to end Ittihad Kalba’s unbeaten streak of eight games. Abu Dhabi is boasting of its rights when Al Wahda welcomes fourth-placed Bani Yas and Syrian Mohammad Kwid begins his third term as person responsible for Al Dhafra against Al Wasl.
Ajman know that beating Fujairah in third place – the first in 2020/21 – will put them in a safe spot.
MATCH WEEK 13 FASTENERS
17:00 Sharjah versus Ittihad Kalba
17:00 Hatta versus Al Ain
20:00 Ajman versus Fujairah
20:00 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club versus Al Nasr
17:00 Khor Fakkan versus Al Jazira
17:00 Al Dhafra versus Al Wasl
20:00 Al Wahda versus Bani Yas
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