Al Ain take on Al Wasl in 'clasico' as Adnoc Pro League returns from three-week break

Serhiy Rebrov's Al Ain are the only undefeated side in the league

Al Ain will be looking to maintain their position at the top of the table when they face Al Wasl in match-week seven of the Adnoc Pro League at the Zabeel stadium in Dubai on Thursday.

Serhiy Rebrov’s men are the only undefeated side in the 14-team league and they aim to keep the record intact when competition resumes after a three-week international break.

“Our preparation against Wasl has been like any other game and the focus is to win,” the Ukrainian said.

“We have watched many of their matches and are ready take them on. They are a good attacking unit with several national team players and a strong foreign presence in the lineup.

“However, we will not be dictated by their game but play to our strengths. We know what we need to do and will do it according to the situations on the pitch.

“Obviously we missed some key players for a good part of the break as they were on national duty but they have had two days to train with the full squad to adapt quickly.”

Wasl manager Oder Hellmann described the game as an 'el clasico' between two leading clubs.

“Al Ain are undefeated and top the league table for a reason but we too are a strong side,” he said.

“We are [here] after a good result against Shabab Al Ahli but then we didn’t have many players at training as they were with the national squad and the Olympic teams, and also some absentees due to injuries.

“Those setbacks will not hold us back when we face Al Ain. I would like to see a good game between two popular teams, and hopefully we will be on the winning side.”

Wasl had registered a moral boosting 1-0 win over city rivals Shabab Al Ahli at the end of September, following two draws against Kalba and Al Wahda.

In the early games on the night, Baniyas host Khor Fakkan and Kalba meet Al Orooba.

On Friday, Ajman travel to Al Dhafra, Sharjah will be at home to Al Nasr and Shabab Al Ahli takes on Al Jazira.

Wahda, who returned from their Asian Champions League defeat to Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia, play Emirates at Al Nahyan stadium on Saturday.

Updated: October 20th 2021, 11:16 AM