Dubai: Sharjah will be looking to consolidate their position at the top as they host Fujairah in Round Six of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), this weekend.
Sharjah dropped their first points this season when they were held away by Hatta to an exciting 2-2 draw last week. But the defending champions held on to top spot with 13 points, while Al Ain handed out a 7-1 thrashing to Fujairah to keep pace with the King.
“As I remarked before, there is no easy match in the league. We are the champions and every team wants to beat us, and that’s natural. So that only means that we have to be on guard all the time,” Sharjah coach Abdul Aziz Al Anbari said at the pre-match conference.
“This is a team that is constantly developing, where each player knows what he is required to do to ensure the success of the team. While we have some stars within the team, it has always been our endeavor to stay like a family and play like one single unit.”
Their most immediate challenge may well come from a hurt Fujairah who were given a lesson in finishing by four-goal star Fo-Doh Kodjo Laba in their 7-1 wrecking at home by Al Ain. “You can never be sure of the transformation of a team. It is all down to the individuals who make things happen within a team. They may well bounce back,” Al Anbari cautioned.
“But that’s irrelevant to us at this point of time as we are more interested in doing what we do best. And that means going out there and winning the three points more so because this one is at home.”
Also trying to re-engage themselves will be Shabab Al Ahli Dubai as they host Ajman, while Bani Yas will make the long trip to Kalba in the two early matches on Thursday. Chasing down leaders Sharjah till last week, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai went down to Al Nasr following a lone strike from Spanish international Alvaro Negredo last week.
Al Wasl, who helped themselves to their first win this season with a 3-1 away result in Al Dhafrah, will host a tricky Hatta in the second late night match on Thursday.
Trailing Ajman 2-0 after 15 minutes, Al Wahda did well to win 4-2, and on Friday they will be up against Al Dhafrah, while Khor Fakkan tackle a resurgent Al Nasr in the second early match. The final match of the week will be Al Ain hosting Al Jazira at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the Garden City.
Kalba v Bani Yas, 6pm
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai v Ajman, 6pm
Sharjah v Fujairah, 8.45pm
Al Wasl v Hatta, 8.45pm
Al Wahda v Al Dhafrah, 6pm
Khor Fakkan v Al Nasr, 6pm
Al Ain v Al Jazira, 8pm