Jazira keeping foot on the gas

Al Jazira travel to Khor Fakkan for their Etisalat Cup opener with Al Khaleej, whom they recently thrashed 6-1.

Abu Dhabi, UAE - September 20 , 2008 - Al Jazeira's goal keper Ali Kosif blocks the ball. Al Wahda v Al Jazeira, Pro League Football at Al Wahda Sports Club. 1 to 1. (Nicole Hill / The National) *** Local Caption ***  NHAlWahda044.jpgNHAlWahda044.jpg
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ABU DHABI // Al Jazira travel to Khor Fakkan tomorrow night for their Etisalat Cup opener with Al Khaleej, whom they thrashed 6-1 two weeks ago in the Pro League at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. It may seem a comparatively easy task for the league leaders but their Brazilian coach Abel Braga wants to guard against complacency. "We won the first meeting very convincingly," said Braga. "That's one of the reasons why we have to guard against complacency. In most cases the players tend to take it easy when they know the opposition is weak.

"We want to win every game and to achieve that we need to play at our best. Khaleej will be a different team on their home turf and that has been proven many times." Braga has no intentions to try out a new starting XI so early in the season. And he said: "I want to start with the best available line-up and not just win this game, but win convincingly." Jazira will only be missing Ahmed Dada, who is on duty with the UAE national team for their World Cup qualifiers.

While Jazira travel in full strength, their neighbours Al Wahda will be severely weakened from the absence of national team players Ismail Matar, Haider Ali, Basheer Saeed, Mohammed al Shehhi and Mohammed Othman against defending champions Al Shabab in their away game. Besides the captain Abdulraheem Jumaa, who is out due of injury, there are fitness doubts over Moroccan defender Mourad Ainy and the Brazilian forward Alecsandro Barbosa. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae