Al Jazira, Al Wahda appoint new managers
Keizer returns to Pride of Abu Dhabi, The Clarets sign Manuel Jimenez
Football managers around the world walk on a thin, tight rope, more so, in this part of the world. One slip up and the rest is history. It is against this backdrop that Al Wahda and Al Jazira enter the fourth weekend of the Arabian Gulf League, as the UAE's top flight resumes after the international break.
Both the Abu Dhabi heavyweights have new appointments in the dug-out, men they hope will reignite their fortunes as they go about the new season.
Al Jazira have returned to Marcel Keizer with the Dutchman replacing his replacement Jurgen Streppel, while city rivals Al Wahda parted ways with Maurice Steijn and replaced the Dutchman with Spaniard Manuel Jimenez.
Al Jazira are currently seventh on the table following a win, a draw and a loss, while Al Wahda are further down in 10th following two defeats and a lone victory.
Al Jazira hope that the 50-year-old can work the same charm he worked with Portuguese heavyweights Sporting Lisbon, after he had left Abu Dhabi last November.
Keizer, who previously coached Dutch powerhouses Ajax, guided Lisbon to the League Cup and the Cup, while finishing third in the League, 13 points behind champions Benfica.
During his time with the Pride of Abu Dhabi, he won five matches and drew four games.
Meanwhile, The Clarets are banking on Jimenez to rescue them the bottom of the table. Jimenez, who made 317 appearances for Sevilla in the La Liga and also featured in the 1990 World Cup, has also coached Sevilla and Greek club AEK Athens.
Keizer will have a relatively easier return as Al Jazira are away to Khor Fakkan on Saturday evening, while Jimenez's first taste of UAE football is a stern test against Al Nasr at home, also on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, defending champions and early pace-setters Sharjah meet Al Wasl at the Zabeel Stadium on Saturday night.
Al Dhafra vs Ajman, Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Stadium, 6.30 p.m
Ittihad Kalba vs Fujairah, Kalba Union Sports & Cultural Club Stadium, 9 p.m
Al Ain vs Hatta, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, 6.30 p.m
Al Wahda vs Al Nasr, Al Nahyan Stadium, 6.30 p.m
Shabab Al Ahli vs Bani Yas, Rashid Stadium, 6.30 p.m
Khor Fakkan vs Al Jazira, Kalba Union Sports & Cultural Club Stadium, 6.30 p.m
Al Wasl vs Sharjah, Zabeel Stadium, 9 p.m
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