Having met in the Pro League Cup first leg semi-final three days ago, Al Wahda travel to Rashid stadium in Dubai again for a meeting with Shabab Al Ahli in the Adnoc Pro League on Friday.
Shabab Al Ahli clinched that game 1-0 but the two teams had a majority of their key players rested with the league game in mind.
“We are in second position in the league and it’s a very important game for us if have to remain in the race,” Wahda manager Gregory Dufrennes said at the pre-match press conference.
“With this game in mind, we rested most of our main players for the cup match against Shabab Al Ahli. We travel to Rashid stadium again.
“For us, the cup and league both are important but we had to decide fielding the best lineup for the league as we are in a position to challenge the leaders Al Ain.”
Al Ain are on 42 points, six ahead of Wahda followed by Sharjah (33) and Shabab Al Ahli (30).
“It’s simple mathematics, if we lose two games Al Ain will go on to win the league,” Dufrennes said when asked on the impact of the result.
“For us, at this stage, every game is important if we want to remain in the league race. We respect Shabab Al Ahli. They are one of the challengers for all the domestic titles.
“They have more experienced players in every line of play. We lost to them the other day but that is one of the results.”
Wahda's Portuguese midfielder Adrien da Silva shared the sentiment of his manager.
“If we don’t win the three points against Shabab Al Ahli it will weaken our chances. But having said that, Al Ain also have some tough games. We have played some of the tougher teams but our opponents have yet to play against them.
“We have done pretty well to win the first four games in the second half of the league and I believe we will have easier matches coming up than Al Ain.”
Al Ain will be at home to Al Orooba and Al Jazira play Sharjah at Mohamed bin Zayed stadium in the other matches on the night.