Sobis is back to boost Al Jazira

The Brazilian midfielder returns after a lengthy absence and in time to replace striker Tony for the grudge match against Al Shabab.

ABU DHABI // The Brazilian midfielder Rafael Sobis returns to the second half of the Pro League after a lengthy absence to bolster Al Jazira when they face Al Shabab tomorrow at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium (KO 8pm). Abel Braga's men, who lead the league table on 29 points, will be looking to avenge their President's Cup semi-final defeat to the visitors even as they try to maintain the lead in the league race. And having lost one of the major trophies, Braga has called on his players to concentrate on the league. "We had a bad game last week but that's history now," said Braga. "We need to look ahead and concentrate on winning the league, which has been our goal from the onset."

The coach also welcomed Sobis back for the remainder of the season, saying: "Sobis has fought his way to the side. We all know how good he is and with Ricardo [Oliveira] they will be a good frontline attack." Sobis comes in place of the injured Ivory Coast striker Tony. Braga said: "Tony did a good job for us and his injury is going to take some time. But Sobis is ready for us from the second half of the league and he has returned a stronger player." Sobis, who cost a then record Dh65 million in 2008, suffered a knee ligament injury last May to miss the first half of the season. Oliveira since replaced him as the most expensive player at Dh82 million.

Ibrahim Diaky, the hard working midfielder, who missed the team's President's Cup game, is back after serving the one match ban, along with Abdulla Mousa. Shabab are on 13 points on eighth place, and a win could see them move one step up the ladder. Al Dhafra face Ajman in the early game (5.15pm).