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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 28
Apr 19, 2024 at 4pm UK
KSU Soccer Stadium

3 - 1
Al Fayha

Al Amri (72'), Mane (76', 82')
Mane (37'), Al-Khaibari (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Sakala (6')
Cimirot (28'), Sabiri (45+3')
Sakala (88')

Preview: Al-Nassr vs. Al Fayha - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Saudi Pro League clash between Al-Nassr and Al Fayha, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Al-Nassr will be looking to bounce back from their Super Cup disappointment when they play host to Al Fayha in gameweek 28 of the Saudi Pro League on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts are currently trailing the league leaders Al-Hilal by 12 points with seven games left to play, while the visitors are firmly set in mid-table, 11 points clear of the dotted line.

Match preview

Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo is shown a red card by referee Mohammed Al Hoaish after clashing with Al Hilal's Ali Al Bulayhi on April 9, 2024© Reuters

A somber atmosphere is widely expected around Al-Awal Park heading into this match following Al-Nassr's painful 2-1 defeat to Al-Hilal in the Super Cup semi-final last week.

Having already been knocked out of the AFC Champions League, trailing the unbeaten Blue Waves by 12 points in the league, and with the Super Cup now gone, Al-Alami look destined to end the 2023-24 season trophyless.

Adding to the gloom, Luis Castro's side will have to play this match as well as next week's game away to Al Khaleej without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who was sent off in a frenetic end to the Super Cup tie after clashing with Ali Al Bulayhi. Sadio Mane netted a late consolation for Al-Alami, but they were already two goals down when the Portuguese superstar was given his marching orders.

Despite the club appealing the decision, the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee of the Saudi Football Federation have opted to stand by their original decision to ban the Al-Nassr skipper for the next two matches, and reports have suggested that he may also be slapped with a fine for his behaviour toward the match official after receiving the red card.

The Knights of Najd will now return to league competition, where they have been in good form lately, currently riding a four-match winning streak and having only lost one of their last 12 games dating back to the start of December.

Al Fayha coach Vuk Rasovic© Reuters

Meanwhile, Al Fayha will undoubtedly be buoyed by the absence of CR7, who scored home and away to send them packing from the AFC Champions League in the round of 16 back in February.

Al Burtuqali brought an end to a three-match winless run last time out, beating relegation candidates Al Akhdoud at home. That result took them to 35 points after 27 matches and saw them leapfrog Al Khaleej into ninth place, level with Damac in eighth.

Fashion Sakala continued his impressive recent form in the last match, bagging a brace on either side of the halftime interval, which takes his tally for the season to 13, including three in his last two outings.

While Vuk Rasovic's men lost their last away game 3-1 to Al Ittihad at the end of last month, they have been better on the road than at home this season, earning 21 points in 13 matches on their travels while only taking 14 from a possible 42 in Al Majma'ah.

However, their record against this opponent suggests that adding to their away points tally may be challenging here. They have lost each of their last three encounters against Al-Alami and won just once in the last 16 meetings.

Al-Nassr Saudi Pro League form:

Al Fayha Saudi Pro League form:

Team News

Al Nassr coach Luis Castro reacts on April 8, 2024© Reuters

Ronaldo's absence will likely mean that Abdulrahman Ghareeb will return to the starting 11, and he will join the three-man front line alongside Otavio and Sadio Mane. Talisca has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a thigh injury.

David Ospina will play in goal with Nawaf Al-Aqidi still suspended, while an injury to Waleed Abdullah will see Raghed Al-Najjar start on the bench as the backup shot-stopper.

For the visitors, Malik Al-Abdulmonem and Mohammed Majrashi are both out with cruciate ligament injuries and are expected to miss the remainder of the campaign.

Sakala's upturn in form should see him retain his spot in attack alongside Nigerian international Anthony Nwakaeme, with Abdelhamid Sabiri expected to continue in the number 10 role after picking up two assists and a goal against Al Akhdoud last time out.

Al-Nassr possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Alawjami, Al-Fatil, Laporte, Telles; Al Ghanam, Al-Khaibari, Brozovic; Ghareeb, Otavio, Mane

Al Fayha possible starting lineup:
Stojkovic; Al Baqawi, Al-Khaibari, Al-Shuwaish, Konan; Al-Safri, Cimirot, Onyekuru, Sabiri; Sakala, Nwakaeme

SM words green background

We say: Al-Nassr 2-1 Al Fayha

Al Fayha could not have chosen a better time to face Al-Nassr, who are coming off a painful defeat and are set to be without their leader and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Al-Alami have more than enough reinforcements to unleash here, and their record in this fixture has been incredible for several years. Therefore, while we are not expecting a commanding victory, we do still feel that the hosts will come out on top in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
5Al Ittihad32156115749851
6Al Ettifaq32111294233945
7Al Fayha321110114350-743
8Al Fateh32119125351242
9Al ShababAl Shabab32118134239341
11Al Khaleej32910133443-937
12Al RaedAl Raed3298154048-835
13Al WahdaAl Wahda32105174357-1435
14Al Riyadh32710152954-2531
15Al Tai3287173359-2631
16Al Okhdood3285193051-2129
18Al Hazem32312173173-4221

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