Dubai: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will be looking at consolidate their position at the top as they face Al Nasr in the 18th week of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) this weekend.
Leaders for the past few weeks, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai got their campaign back on track last week with a narrow 1-0 away win against Bani Yas. In Week 16, they had lost 1-2 at home against Al Jazira to allow challengers Al Ain, last years’s champions Sharjah and Al Jazira to catch up and cut down the points deficit.
The leaders will have to be on guard against the ‘Blues’ from across the Creek as one of their two losses so far this season came against them during the fifth week of the AGL. Al Nasr have also seen a resurgence in their fortunes with the Bur Dubai club thrashing Al Wahda 3-0 last week.
Second-placed Al Ain will host Fujairah with the former 13-time champions keeping up the chase on leaders Shabab Al Ahli Dubai. Now in second with 34 points, still five adrift of the leaders, Al Ain asserted themselves further with a 3-0 win against Hatta last week.
The biggest result of last week was when a travelling Khor Fakkan secured a 1-0 victory against Al Jazira. That result tied up the club with 12 points alongside Fujairah and Katta at the bottom of the table.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai is at the top with 39 points, followed by Al Ain in second with 34 points while defending champions Sharjah follow in third with 31. Just one point separates the next three teams with Al Jazira (30) in fourth, while Al Wahda and Al Dhafra are tied with 29 points each in fifth and sixth, respectively.
In the night matches on Thursday, Al Wasl will host Al Dhafra and defending champions Sharjah will entertain Hatta.
On Friday, Kalba will be up against Al Jazira and Al Wahda will take on Ajman in the early matches, while the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai versus Al Nasr encounter will bring down the curtains on Round 18 of the league late on Friday.
March 5 (5.30) Al Ain vs Fujairah; (5.30) Khor Fakkan vs Bani Yas; (8.15) Al Wasl vs Al Dhafra; (8.15) Sharjah vs Hatta.
March 6 (5.30) Kalba vs Al Jazira; (5.30) Al Wahda vs Ajman; (8.15) Shabab Al Ahli Dubai vs Al Nasr.