Race for top three finish hots up with ACL berths at stake - GulfToday

Race for top three finish hots up with ACL berths at stake

Acl

An action-packed Round 20 is on the cards with one point separating three teams.

Matchweek 20 of the Arabian Gulf League  (AGL) is scheduled to kick off on Friday, with four games to be played on the opening day before resuming with three other games on Saturday.

On Friday, Dibba face Fujairah, Bani Yas play Sharjah, Al Wasl face Shabab Al Ahli and Emirates Club play against Al Dhafra.

The second day will see Ittihad Kalba face Al Jazira, Al Ain play against Ajman and Al Wahda face Al Nasr.

The action kicks off with the Dibba and Fujairah derby at the Fujariah Stadium at 17:50.

The Sailors sit at the bottom of the table on eight points, after collecting four points in the second half of the season. They’ve most recently lost to Shabab Al Ahli 3-1.

Meanwhile, Fujariah are 12th on 14 points. They ended their seven-match losing run with a 3-3 draw against Kalba last week.

Bani Yas will host leaders Sharjah at 18 hours in one of the strongest encounters of  the week. The Sky Blues are looking to edge closer to the top three as they now sit fifth on 33 points after beating Emirates Club 3-2 last week.

The King, meanwhile, top the table on 47 points, despite dropping two points against Ajman in last week. The match of the week is set to kick off at 20:30 between Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli at Zabeel Stadium.

Al Wasl have recently collected three consecutive wins over Bani Yas, Al Wahda and Emirates before losing to Al Nasr 4-2. The Cheetahs now sit in ninth place on 23 points.

On the other hand, Shabab Al Ahli have been putting in impressive performances that helped them jump to second place on 38 points. They defeated Dibba 3-1 in matchweek 19.

The two sides faced off three times this season with Shabab Al Ahli emerging as winners in all three encounters.

They won 3-2 in the league, 2-0 in the Arabian Gulf Cup, and 5-1 in the UAE President’s Cup.

At the same time, Emirates will host Al Dhafra at Emirates Club Stadium. The Falcons put in strong performance against Bani Yas in the last matchweek but fell to a 3-2 defeat to remain frozen on 12 points in 13th place.

Meanwhile, Al Dhafra drew with Al Wahda 1-1 to raise their points tally to 24 in seventh place. The action resumes on Saturday when Kalba host Al Jazira at 17:50. The Tigers played out a 3-3 draw with Fujairah in Round 19 to remain 10th on 21 points.

Their opponents Al Jazira earned a big 5-1 win over Al Ain last week as they now have 37 points in fourth place.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi will be looking to win their remaining league games to secure a top three spot, which would seal their place in next season’s AFC Asian Champions League.

At 17:55, Al Ain will face Ajman at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. The Boss will be looking to recover from their 5-1 thrashing against Al Jazira to regain second place after they were overtaken by Shabab Al Ahli. They are now third on 38 points.

They will, however, face a tough opponent as the Oranges held leaders Sharjah to a goalless draw last week to sit eighth on 24 points.

Matchweek 20 concludes with Al Wahda and Al Nasr clash, which will be held at Al Nahyan Stadium at 20:30. The Clarets, who are looking to move closer to the top three, drew with Al Dhafra in matchweek 19 to sit sixth on 31 points.

Meanwhile, Al Nasr defeated Al Wasl 4-2 to reach the 20-point mark in 11th place.