Sharjah look to break Hatta jinx - GulfToday

Sharjah look to break Hatta jinx

Sharjah look to break Hatta jinx

Sharjah players attend a training session ahead of their match against Hatta.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Hatta, who are battling to avoid relegation, will look to maintain their six-game unbeaten run against Sharjah in their 18th round match of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Thursday.

Hatta coach Christos Kontis predicted a tough match and warned his players to be wary of Sharjah, who are aspiring to go on the top of the standings.

Kontis said: “This match is as important as any other game. The defending champion Sharjah are certainly a difficult opponent and we should not forget that they are trying to reach the top of the table.”

In their last six head-to-head meetings across all the competitions, Hatta have beaten Sharjah thrice and the remaining three games ended in draws.

“For them it is important to run away with three points. But it is an equal opportunity for us as well to keep our impressive record intact.

“We have nine games remaining in the league and we look at every match as a different game.”

Sharjah, who started their campaign on a strong note and remained unbeaten until the ninth round, suddenly saw a drastic fall in their form and were dismantled by Shabab Al Ahli, who went atop with 39 points.

Sharjah are currently on third spot, three points behind Al Ain and eight points adrift of table topppers Shabab Al Ahli.

“We always try to grab three points or at least one point by salvaging a draw. We have to be honest to our work. We must give our best to reap those points. Because every club wants to be a team like Sharjah,” he added.

“Of course we know Sharjah and they also know us well. So far, we have achieved good results, but in return, Sharjah will also try to bounce back and we must be ready for their backlash.

“Certainly, Sharjah cannot afford to lose this game if they wish to advance in the ranking table. We also can’t afford to drop the points if we have to move out of the danger zone and remain afloat in the top flight. I expect that it will be a very difficult match for both the teams.”

If Hatta win, they will leapfrog Khorfakkan, who have the same number of points but are one place above in the standings due to the goal difference.

Commenting on Khorfakkan’s victory against Al Jazira in the last round match, he said: “They are a good team and can beat anyone on a given day. I am not surprised. But as a coach, I think I should focus more on my team.”

In another match, Khorfakkan will face Bani Yas at the Saqr Bin Mohamed Al Qasemi Stadium in a 5:30 kick-off on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Al Ain will look to tighten their grip on the second spot and close the gap on leaders Shabab Al Ahli with a victory over bottom side Fujairah.

Al Ain Portuguese coach Pedro Emanuel said it is a very important match for them as they look to take away all three points and maintain their stranglehold in the standings.

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