ABU DHABI // After their first defeat in eight games in all competitions, Baniyas face another tough task Tuesday when they meet Al Ahli, the runaway leaders in the Arabian Gulf League.
Their manager Jorge Da Silva is hopeful, though, that his team will bounce back from the 4-3 away defeat to Al Nasr last Saturday.
“Ahli are on a five-match winning streak in the league and playing against them will give my players the motivation to raise their game,” the Uruguayan said.
“As a coach, I am excited and looking forward too. The spotlight will be on this game and will be an excellent opportunity for the players to push for a good result.”
Da Silva felt his side underperformed against Nasr and said the players have learnt from the mistakes.
“There were other reasons as well. We had some key players absent, particularly in the defence, against Nasr. We can bounce back against Ahli,” he said.
Baniyas are without Mohsin Al Hashmi, the goalkeeper who faces a lengthy absence after a head-on collision with a defender left him with a facial fracture.
Amer Abdulrahman and Thamer Mohammed, the midfielders, have still not recovered from their injuries and are set to miss the game against Ahli as well.
The good news for Da Silva is the Jaber brothers, Yousef and Mohammed, are set to return to bolster the defence.
Meanwhile, Karel Jarolim, the Al Wahda coach, believes the return of his experienced defenders will strengthen his team’s chances of returning with three points from Sharjah.
Hamdan Al Kamali and Eisa Ahmed, the UAE internationals, will be joined by Hussain Fadhel in returning from one-match bans.
Wahda are one point behind Sharjah in fifth after five games.
“I think we played an excellent last game against Al Ain [a 1-1 home draw]”, said the Czech manager.
“We were a bit unlucky not to have won that game, having created so many scoring chances. If we can play at the same level against Sharjah, we are confident of returning with the three points.”
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