Al Ain and Al Jazira both return to Arabian Gulf League duties hoping to revive their domestic campaigns following their disappointing results in the Asian Champions League recently.
The Garden City club went down to Qatar’s El Jaish 2-1 in both their Group D games and Jazira’s two encounters in Group C were hardly much better, losing 4-0 in Iran to Tractor Sazi last week and 1-0 at home on Wednesday.
For Al Ain, it will be a critical game against Jazira at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Sunday after their shock defeat to Al Shabab that allowed arch rivals Al Ahli to go a point clear on top of the league table.
There are four games on Friday.
Opening the weekend’s matches will be Ahli, who travel to mid-table Dibba at 5.30pm. Al Wahda are at home to bottom club Al Shaab, Fujairah travel to Sharjah and Al Wasl meet Emirates at the Zabeel Stadium.
The Sharjah v Fujairah match pits two teams desperate to pull clear of relegation trouble.
“This is the match in which we must prove that we deserve to stay in the top flight,” Fujairah coach Ivan Hasek said.
“It is not our last chance because we still have six games after this, but it’s a very important game against Sharjah as we also want to put an end to the recent poor results.”
Sharjah, in 10th place, are two points ahead of Fujairah, who currently hold the second relegation spot, and their coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari said every point was valuable to them.
“There are five teams in the same situation as we are in and every point matters for all these teams,” the Emirati said.
“Three points would mean a great deal to whoever win this game.
“I hope it will be us. I am sure we can take a lot of positives from our win over Al Nasr in the President’s Cup when we play Fujairah at home.”
Saturday’s matches have Shabab playing Al Nasr at Al Maktoum Stadium and Baniyas hosting Al Dhafra.
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