Dubai: Al Nasr and Al Wasl coaches are both claiming to be hitting form at just the right time ahead of Friday’s Arabian Gulf League derby between the pair at Zabeel Stadium from 7.45pm.
Al Wasl are sixth with seven points from the first five games of the season, while Al Nasr are 12th with three points.
While Al Wasl are without a win in three matches across all competitions, with just one win in the last eight, coach Gustavo Quinteros is saying the return of players will buoy their chances.
“Last month we had seven consecutive games in which no player participated continuously, so the stumble that happened is to due injuries, suspensions and national team commitments,” said Quinteros.
“The next match is the first time the team will enter with full ranks, which will strengthen our chances of winning, especially as it is at home and in front of our own fans.”
Al Nasr have won their past two league and cup games following a period of three league losses.
“We hope to win to confirm the team’s return to winning ways,” said Al Nasr coach Ivan Jovanovic, who puts poor results down to the signing of many new players over the summer, who need time to blend.
“The ability of the team to deliver good performances in the past two games confirms that the team only needed time to achieve harmony, which will be more visible in the coming period.”
Elsewhere this weekend, league leaders Sharjah are at home to Ajman, second-placed Al Ain host fourth-placed Al Jazira and third-placed Al Wahda are at home to Al Dhafra.