Sharjah face tough test against Al Wasl

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Sharjah face tough test against Al Wasl
Action from the Arabian Gulf League match between Sharjah and Dibba. Sharjah are looking to end their 23-year wait for the title. (Supplied photo)

Dubai - The Arabian Gulf League fixture at the Zabeel Stadium is one of the three remaining matches Sharjah must negotiate to lay their hands on the title

By James Jose

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Published: Thu 9 May 2019, 11:14 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 May 2019, 1:19 AM

Sharjah face a stiff test in their march towards a sixth League title and their first in the professional era when they square off against Al Wasl on Saturday night.
The Arabian Gulf League fixture at the Zabeel Stadium is one of the three remaining matches Sharjah must negotiate to lay their hands on the title after an agonising 23-year wait.
Sharjah still remain unbeaten across the 23 matches with 15 wins and eight draws. But that record had come under threat two games ago until a Yaqoub Hassan own goal saved the day against Ittihad Kalba.
But 'The King' are yet to taste a win across the past three matches with their last victory coming against Bani Yas in April.
Hence, Abdulaziz Al Anbari's side would do well to not drop points against Al Wasl, Al Wahda and Emirates, their next three opponents.
Meanwhile, the weekend begins with a cracking fixture between Al Nasr and Shabab Al Ahli at the Al Maktoum Stadium, with the former looking to climb up and the latter aiming to cement their position in second place and possibly threaten Sharjah at the top.
Shabab Al Ahli are fresh from notching a double, adding the prestigious President's Cup to the Arabian Gulf Cup which they had won in March.
"We are delighted with the achievements this season, thanks to the players and the club management, as well as the fans. But despite these achievements, our ambition is greater and we must continue to fight to achieve more goals," Shabab Al Ahli coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said in his pre-match briefing.
"Al Nasr are a tough team and we know their strengths. And it will be difficult for both the sides," he added.
The Al Quasis club are six points behind Sharjah with 47 points and have a slim chance of toppling them at the top. But the Argentine was not looking that ahead and said that they will do what needs to be done.
"We have to focus on getting the points in our remaining games. Things also depend on Sharjah's results. The most important thing is for us to work hard to win the points," said the former Boca Juniors coach.
Meanwhile, Al Nasr coach Caio Zanardi reckoned it will be a very different game as his side have shown improvement after a turbulent period.
"It will be a very different game from the previous encounters between the two teams because our performance has improved significantly. Our players have regained confidence and the positive results have given the players more strength and desire," said Zanardi.
The Blues have not lost a game since Zanardi took over last month, winning four and drawing one.
james@khaleejtimes.com
 



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