Al Wahda aim to clinch title

Al Wahda aim to clinch title

Bani Yas will host front runners Al Wahda in the 20th round of the UF-League which kicks off with six interesting clashes on cards. Al matches start at 7:35pm.

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By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Sun 2 May 2010, 12:02 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:22 AM

Al Wahda are the leaders with 49 points and a win in next test coupled with a defeat or a draw in Al Jazira’s game against Al Ahli will earn the Maroons their third league silverware two weeks ahead of the end of the season.

But it’s not going to be as easy as one could imagine. Al Wahda’s Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger knows they are not going to walk on the pitch and claim points.

Promoted Bani Yas have been very impressive right from the onset. They maybe not be in the title race anymore, but they are eyeing a dream line-up in the continent’s premier tournament — the AFC Champions League — which is open for the first three teams of the UAE Football League.

In another clash, Al Ahli host Al Jazira in a crucial tie at Rashid Stadium in Dubai. Defending champions Al Ahli slipped to the sixth position after an awkward start to the season.

Al Ahli chairman Khalifa Sulieman resigned or told to render his resignation last week and Abdullah Lootah took over.

“We didn’t have a good season. We have been facing many problems, but let’s hope for the better in the remaining part of the competition,” Al Ahli skipper Salem Khamis said.

“The players failed to show the best of them in the AFC Champions League and tailed off the group’s table with three defeats at home and away and a two points from six starts.

“Yes, the season has finished for us at both ends. We have missed the opportunity to make reappearance in the AFC Champions League, but still we are optimistic to make a strong come back to the competition next season,” he said.

At the bottom of the table, promoted Emirates will face a tough challenge when they travel to Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium to line up against the UAE football powerhouse Al Ain.

“We are still hopeful to collect nine points from our remaining three encounters and maintain our pro-league status. I’m optimistic and quite confident that my players will live up to the expectations,” said the Emirates’ local coach Eid Barout. “We are looking forward to claim full points and pray for Al Shaabab to give us a kiss of hope in the Dubai derby against Al Nasr,” he added.

Al Dhafra will take on Al Sharjah in the western region with both sides trying to improve their respective positions in the table as relegated Ajman host Al Wasl at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium.

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