Dubai: League leaders and defending champions Sharjah shows no signs of relenting as they head into a crucial clash against visiting Al Wasl in the ninth week of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) this weekend.
While Sharjah host Al Wasl, Al Ain will be looking at exacting some sort of revenge against Ajman as Al Nasr host Fujairah in Thursday’s three matches.
Last week saw the Round-of-16 of the UAE President’s Cup being played in which Al Ain went down by a solitary goal against Ajman in their home tie.
Currently in third place on goal-difference, Al Nasr are just three points adrift of the leaders and will now be looking at full points against the visiting team from Fujairah.
Sharjah, meanwhile, will be looking at re-focusing on a third straight league title following two successive draws in the AGL in as many rounds. “The goal for us always is to go and win the three points,” Sharjah coach Abdul Aziz Al Anbari told media in Wednesday’s pre-match conference.
“But there are times when we make small mistakes on the field, and we have been lucky to an extent that we have managed to get the two draws. In my chat with the team I have made it amply clear that we need not repeat such errors as these can cost us dear in the future,” he stressed.
“We respect all teams, and we know how dangerous a team like Al Wasl can be. They have skilled players and they are capable of delivering good results on any day. We need to stay sharp and focused all the time if we want to win the three points,” Al Anbari added.
Despite those two draws – both 1-1 results against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and Khor Fakkan – Sharjah have managed to keep their perch with 20 points after eight rounds. Al Jazira and Al Nasr are in second and third respectively on goal-difference and with 17 points each, while Al Ain and Al Wahda are with 14 points apiece even as Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, Bani Yas and Kalba chase them with 13 points.
Friday’s main match will be the Abu Dhabi derby when Al Jazira host Al Wahda at 9 pm even as Khor Fakkan host Kalba at the same time for the northern UAE derby. In the day’s early matches, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will host Al Dhafra and Bani Yas will make the long trip to Hatta.
(Thursday) 6 pm: Al Nasr vs Fujairah; 6 pm: Al Ain vs Ajman; 9 pm: Sharjah vs Al Wasl.
(Friday) 6 pm: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai vs Al Dhafra; 6 pm: Hatta vs Bani Yas; 9 pm: Al Jazira vs Al Wahda; 9 pm: Khor Fakkan vs Kalba.