AGLEAGUE, matchweek 19 kicks off Wednesday
Matchweek 19 of the Arabian Gulf League kicks off on Wednesday with two exciting games, as Al Nasr play against Al Wasl and Al Jazira face Al Ain in the opening day.
The action kicks off at Al Maktoum Stadium when Al Nasr face Al Wasl in the derby at 17:50.
The home side are going through a rough patch. Since the beginning of the second half of the season, the Blues drew two games and lost four. They most recently lost to Dibba 2-1 to remain 11th on 17 points.
Following their defeat to the Sailors, the club board decided to sack Spanish coach Beñat San José and appointed Caio Zanardi as caretaker manager until the end of the season.
Al Nasr will have an uphill task against Al Wasl, who enter the game on the back of three consecutive league wins, raising their points tally to 23 in seventh place.
During the pre-match press conference, Zanardi said he's confident of his players’ abilities to get a positive result. He added that he would make some changes to the starting line-up to create a balance between the defense and offense.
Al Wasl coach Laurențiu Reghecampf said his team would be looking to maintain their winning run against Al Nasr. He added, “Al Nasr are a strong team who have a number of excellent players and have been unlucky in some of their previous games.”
At 20:30, Al Jazira and Al Ain face off in the match of the week at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi lost to Sharjah in the previous matchweek to drop to fourth place on 34 points. On the other hand, Al Ain beat Fujairah 2-1 to return to second place on 38 points.
Al Jazira coach Damiën Hertog said that his side are looking to seal a spot in the AFC Asian Champions League next season after they “fell out of the title race”.
“Al Ain clash will be tough as they want to keep fighting to remain in the title race, while we’re looking to regain our confidence,” he added.
Al Ain coach Juan Carlos Garrido stressed that his team need to collect the full points in all their remaining games. “I watched Al Jazira’s recent clash with Sharjah and I stress that we'll face a tough opponent who have excellent players, but we’ll do our best to get the win,” he added.
Their clash in the first half of the season ended in a 2-1 win for Al Jazira.