Life returns to six Arabian Gulf League stadiums on Thursday and Friday for matchweek 9, where the excitement continues as teams look to improve and consolidate their spots before the end of the first round.
The first game of the matchweek sees Al Ain travel to Fujairah to play Dibba at the Fujairah Stadium at 16:45, and the former will only be looking for the three points as they continue to chase Al Wasl who sit top of the table two points ahead of them. Dibba, meanwhile, will be looking to take points off yet another big team after they did so against Al Jazira earlier this season and Shabab Al Ahli just last week.
At 16:50, it is Al Ain's direct rivals on the league table Al Wasl who will face Ajman in a bid to continue their dominance at the top of the table at the Zabeel Stadium. Ajman are focused too, indeed, after their loss to Sharjah last week which brought them back to tenth place with seven points.
The third Thursday match kicks-off at 19:45 when Sharjah play as the away team at the Al Nahyan Stadium against third placed Al Wahda. The latter have just come off a 4-1 away win against Emirates, while Sharjah, who are in seventh place with nine points, had defeated Ajman in their previous game and want to move ahead in the table and continue their undefeated streak under coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari.
Friday's matches open with Al Jazira and Emirates at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium at 16:50. Al Jazira had come back from 2-0 down to draw Al Ain 2-2 and gain a valuable point to move up to ten points in sixth place. On the other hand, Emirates continued with their struggles when they lost 4-1 to Al Wahda last week, currently sitting in 11thplace with four points.
Al Dhafra meet Hatta in the fifth game of the matchweek at the Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium at 16:55. The game is considered a chance to bounce back for both teams as they failed to win last week. Al Dhafra lost 0-3 to Al Wasl, while Hatta lost 1-5 to Al Nasr at home and sit in last place.
Matchweek 9 concludes with a Dubai derby between Shabab Al Ahli and Al Nasr at Shabab Al Ahli club Stadium in Al Aweer. Shabab Al Ahli dropped points to Dibba last week in a 1-1 draw, and are currently in fourth place on level points with Al Nasr who sit in fifth place on goal difference. Shabab Al Ahli drew four times in a row which led them to drop away from the top of the table by seven points, meanwhile Al Nasr are looking to get back on track and move into the top four with a win.