Dubai: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, Al Ain, Al Jazira and Al Nasr will have an opportunity of catching up with leaders and defending champions Sharjah this weekend before the local season heads into a short international break.

In second place and three points adrift of the leaders, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will be away against Al Dhafrah while Al Ain also undertake the long trip to Bani Yas. Currently in fourth place, Al Jazira will be in Sharjah even as a resurgent Al Nasr try and utilise the home advantage and tackle new entrants Kalba.

“Everyone wants to beat the champions,” Sharjah coach Abdul Aziz Al Anbari told media late on Tuesday.

“That’s the reason why I have always been telling my players that there are no easy teams in the league. Everyone would want to beat us, so we have to be more than ready to face any of the other 13 teams in the competition,” he added.

Led by the likes of Igor Coronado and Ricardo Gomes, Sharjah have been a handful this season while dropping just the two points to Hatta a couple of weeks back. Last week too, they were in a spot of bother till a late self goal handed them a narrow 2-1 home win against new entrants Fujairah.

“The important thing is to focus all the time. There are 90 minutes in each game and we have to realise that we cannot afford to drop our concentration even for a second,” the Sharjah coach cautioned.

“We are a team where my players are professional enough to realise what they need to do and return with all three points,” he confided.

Fixtures:

Thursday: 6pm: Bani Yas vs Al Ain; Al Dhafrah vs Shabab Al Ahli Dubai; 8.45pm: Al Nasr vs Kalba; Al Jazira vs Sharjah.

Friday: 6pm: Fujairah vs Hatta; Ajman vs Khor Fakkan; 8.45pm: Al Wahda vs Al Wasl.