Three exciting matches are expected on Saturday, the opening day of matchweek 5 of the Arabian Gulf League, headlined by Match of the Week between Al Jazira and Sharjah.
The action gets underway at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium when Al Ain host Al Dhafra at 6pm. The Boss had a poor start to the season as they remain winless in their past three games, with their last match ending in a 1-1 draw with Fujairah, leaving them in ninth place on five points.
On the other hand, Al Dhafra’s impressive start to the season was halted by a 5-0 defeat to Sharjah in matchweek 4 as they dropped to seventh place on seven points.
Al Ain coach Pedro Emanuel stressed on the importance of the upcoming clash. “We need to fully focus on the game and respect Al Dhafra. We know that their 5-0 loss to Sharjah doesn’t reflect their real performance,” he added.
Meanwhile, Al Dhafra coach Aleksandar Veselinović acknowledged the difficulty of the game. “Al Ain have good players. They are a strong opponent, but we can beat them. We’ll have to do give our all and focus for the full 90 minutes,” he added.
Ajman will be playing with Bani Yas at 6pm as well at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium. The Oranges are yet to get their first win of the season, having fallen to three defeats and a draw that put them 12th with one point only. They enter the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Al Nasr.
Their opponents Bani Yas also fell to a defeat in matchweek 4, as they lost 3-1 to Al Jazira. They Sky Blues, however, are third on nine points, thanks to three consecutive wins at the beginning of the season.
The Oranges’ coach Ayman Al Ramady said his team needs to be fully focused against Bani Yas. He added, “we will do our best to get a win after suffering three defeats in the past four games.”
His Bani Yas counterpart Daniel Isăilă said, “Ajman remain winless and will try to get a home win against us. It won’t be an easy game.” He added that they prepared well for the game, saying Ajman are a “good team” who have within their ranks a “good group of players”.
The final game of the day will see Al Jazira clash with Sharjah at 9pm at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in the most anticipated game of the week.
After settling for two draws at the beginning of the season, the Pride of Abu Dhabi clinched two consecutive wins against Ittihad Kalba and Bani Yas to jump to fifth spot with nine points. They will, however, be facing a tough task when they clash with Sharjah, as the King will be looking to maintain their perfect start to the season that saw them collect the full points from their first four games to top the standings.
Al Jazira coach Marcel Keizer expects a tough game against Sharjah. “I hope the fans will enjoy it, especially that both teams are similar on different levels,” he added.
On the other hand, Sharjah coach Abdelaziz Al Anberi echoed Keizer’s words, saying it will be an important game against a strong opponent. “We look to maintain our positive results and performances and get all three points,” he added.