Al Wahda Battle Al Ain in the Abu Dhabi ‘Classico’
All eyes will be on Abu Dhabi's Al Nahyan Stadium as Al Wahda and Al Ain conclude matchweek 7 games with the Abu Dhabi ‘Classico' kicking-off at 19:45.
The two sides come into this game in contrasting circumstances in terms of players availability, but with same desire and motivation to win this game as a win for either side will keep them within touching distance of the top of the table.
Al Wahda have a perfect record at home, having thrashed Dibba 5-0 in the first game of the season before defeating Al Dhafra 3-1 and Hatta with the same score. On the other hand, Al Ain have done better on the road this season having won all their games there, beating Hatta, Ajman and Emirates away from home.
Al Wahda will miss captain Ismael Matar due to injury, while Al Ain miss a host of key players: strikers Markus Berg and Douglas are both suspended, alongside defender Mohanad Salem. Manager Zoran Mamic will be absent from the game due to his suspension too.
A strong start
Both teams have had a strong start to the season; Al Ain have earned 14 points in the first six games of the season while Al Wahda gained 13. The Boss drew with Al Wasl in the first game of the season then went on to beat all of Hatta, Shabab Al Ahli, Ajman and Emirates before dropping points at home to Sharjah in a 3-3 draw. Meanwhile, Al Wahda won their first three matches of the season before losing to Al Wasl. They got back to winning ways against Hatta, only to drop points against Shabab Al Ahli in a goalless away draw.
The Arabian Gulf League head-to-head record is in favour of Al Ain, with eight wins to Al Wahda's five victories. Five games out of their 18 clashes ended in draw. Last time the two sides met, Al Ain emerged 3-2 winners at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. Prior to that, they drew 1-1 at the Al Nahyan Stadium. Al Ain have the biggest win against Al Wahda, when they defeated them 4-0 at home during the 2014-15 season.
Al Wahda have only lost on their home turf to Al Ain once, nine years ago when Al Ain defeated them 1-0 on the 24th of November in 2008.
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