Al Ain defender Mohammad Ali Shaker is confident his team can maintain their seven-point lead in the Adnoc Pro League when they host Ajman at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday.
The Garden City club have already received a double boost with the news that attacker Kodjo Laba and midfielder Bandar Al Ahbabi should be back in action after recovering from injuries.
Togolese forward Laba, the league's top scorer with 12 goals, and Al Ahbabi both missed Al Ain's 3-1 win over Al Nasr on Saturday.
“With all due respect to Ajman, we will go all out for the three points with the objective of continuing with our good performances and good record to maintain the lead,” Shaker said.
“We are aware of what is required from us to achieve our objectives. We have played some good football in recent times and obviously want to win this home game.
“Our preparations have gone well and we have worked on the areas we need to improve from the last match. We have had a lot of injury worries but the players are recovering and some of them may start on Thursday.
“We won the last two games, the President’s Cup and the last league game [both against Al Nasr], without many key players. That only goes to show the depth we have and the confidence and faith our head coach [Serhiy Rebrov] has on the squad.
“Then we have our faithful fans behind us always. It’s a combination of everything. We hope we can maintain the momentum throughout the season.”
The Ajman manager Goran Tufegdzic is aware of the tough task his players face against Al Ain. “We have played against big teams with some success and we go with the same objectives against Al Ain.” the Serbian said. “Obviously a win would be a sensational result but even returning with a point would be great.”
In Thursday night's other games, Nasr travel to Al Dhafra, Baniyas are at home to Shabab Al Ahli and Al Wasl play Al Orooba at the Zabeel Stadium.