Ahmed Rizvi of The National staff predicts the outcomes in Round 17 of the Arabian Gulf League, February 19-21
FUJAIRAH 1 AL AIN 3
Majestic in their 7-1 win over Ajman last week, Al Ain face Fujairah twice before the end of this month and plan to take six points from the encounters and sole possession of the top spot. Al Jazira will be hoping Fujairah can do them a favour in the battle for the top spot, but that wish is unlikely to come to fruition.
AJMAN 1 AL AHLI 2
Seething after their embarrassing 4-0 loss to Al Wasl at home last week, the defending champions could be chasing a morale-boosting win at Ajman. But with no striker in the squad, save Ahmed Khalil, what are the chances of their making a turnaround?
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BANIYAS 3 EMIRATES 1
Baniyas have not been impressive at home, with only 10 points from a possible 21, but Emirates, with only one win and a draw from their past seven matches, might not have the firepower to surprise the hosts.
AL WASL 2 AL NASR 0
Wasl have not won the Bur Dubai derby since the 2008/09 season, but this could be their time. They looked sharp in the 4-0 win at Ahli. Nasr, on the other hand, have been a bit goal-shy in recent times. Watch out for the red cards, though.
AL SHABAB 3 KALBA 0
Kalba have done well defensively of late, conceding only five goals in four matches, and they have played teams like Al Wahda and Baniyas. The trip to Shabab, however, could spoil those figures as Caio Junior’s side have shown they can be ruthless against lesser sides.
AL JAZIRA 2 AL DHAFRA 2
Eric Gerets’s men have done well to stay at the top of the points table, despite the relentless pressure from Al Ain. Tuesday’s trip to Uzbekistan for their Asian Champions League play-off against Bunyodkor, however, could leave the team weary and doughty Dhafra will surely test their resolve.
SHARJAH 1 AL WAHDA 1
Wahda were also busy midweek, taking on Qatari club Al Sadd in a Champions League play-off, but thankfully they were playing at home. The trip to Sharjah, however, will not be an easy one.
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