Arabian Gulf League; Relegation battle and Runner-up race heating up
Al Jazira clinched the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League title with a 5-0 victory over Hatta in round 24 to lift the second league title in their history. Attention now turns to the three-way race for second place currently occupied by Al Ahli with 52 points following their 2-2 draw with Sharjah. Al Wasl are a single point behind, having beaten Dibba 2-0 in round 24 while Al Ain are a further point behind in fourth having reached 50 points after their "Abu Dhabi Clasico" 3-2 win over Al Wahda in their last outing.
At the other end of the table, four teams are embroiled in a fierce relegation battle. Kalba and Dibba have 18 points each at tenth and eleventh in the table respectively, followed by Emirates with 16 points while Bani Yas are two points behind them at the foot of the table
Round 24 saw no changes of positions across the table apart from Sharjah and Hatta who swapped places as Sharjah moved up to ninth with a win from their draw against Al Ahli, overtaking Hatta who dropped to tenth after their home defeat against Al Jazira.
The penultimate round of the Arabian Gulf League takes place throughout Wednesday and Thursday, the 3rd and 4th of May. The round's first day sees five matches which will go a long way to decide the two teams heading down to the first division. The bottom two sides Bani Yas and Emirates lock horns at Bani Yas' Al Shamkha Stadium at 18:05 while Kalba host Al Ahli and Al Wahda host Dibba all at the same time. Al Ain travel to Sharjah for the first of two Wednesday 21:00 kick-off games and Al Jazira host Al Nasr in the second Wednesday night match.
The round concludes on Thursday with two matches; Al Dhafra welcome Hatta to the Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium while Al Wasl and Al Shabab clash at Zabeel Stadium in Dubai. Both games kick-off at 21:00.