Dubai: Al Wasl will be eagerly looking towards displacing early leaders Al Wahda at the top of the standings when the two meet in Round Four of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), on Friday night.
After three rounds of action, Al Wahda have a perfect record with nine points, while last year’s AGL runners-up Al Wasl have seven following two wins and a draw going into Friday’s top-of-the-table clash in Dubai.
Al Wahda have shown early promise starting off with a 5-0 hammering of Dibba, followed by a 2-1 win over Al Nasr and a 3-1 result against fellow Abu Dhabi side Al Dhafra for a sound average of 10 goals scored while conceding in just two so far.
On the other hand, Al Wasl have banked heavily on their Brazilian duo of Fabio De Lima and Caio Canedo for all of their seven goals scored so far. But they have shown a leaky defence while letting in four goals in three matches.
However, the one difference between the two clubs is the consistency shown so far by Al Wasl as the Cheetahs from Al Zabeel is the only team with a perfect record in all competitions this season. They have won both their matches in the Arabian Gulf Cup as well giving them the edge over an opponent who is yet to recover from a shock 2-1 away defeat against Dibba last week.
Coming off one of their worst starts to the season will be defending champions Al Jazira as they try and regain lost ground with an away match against Al Dhafra. Equipped with possibly one of the best attacking options in the league, the Pride of Abu Dhabi is yet to fire after they limped to a 2-1 win against new entrants Ajman, only to lose 0-1 to Dibba and then crash to a 2-4 loss at home against Al Nasr.
Their coach Henk Ten Cate has been quick to send out a stern warning to the defending champions wherein he has asked the team to get their act together failing which they might have to start taking measures to save their place in the top rung of the competition.
In the third match on Friday, winless and bottom of the table Hatta will host 10th-placed Sharjah.
On Saturday, Al Ain will want to make the long trip to Ajman count for full, while Al Nasr host free-scoring Dibba and finally, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will host Emirates Club of Ras Al Khaimah to round off the fourth week action of the AGL.
(Friday) 5.05 Hatta v Sharjah; 5.15 Al Dhafra v Al Jazira; 8.00 Al Wasl v Al Wahda
(Saturday) 5.05 Ajman v Al Ain; 5.00 Al Nasr v Dibba; 8.00 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai v Emirates