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Saudi Pro League

Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli: Predicted lineup, injury news, head-to-head, telecast

Published at :October 5, 2023 at 8:49 PM
Modified at :October 5, 2023 at 8:49 PM
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Nail-biting clash of Saudi Pro League's matchday 9

After matchday 8 fixtures getting settled, we see Al Ittihad boasting the best defensive record in the Saudi Pro League. The Jeddah-based club lifted the 2022-23 Saudi League trophy and are still going strong. With just a point below current league leaders Al Hilal, The Tigers will be looking to make the most of the home fixture against Al Ahli.

The away side Al Ahli are going into the fixture knowing they can quickly improve upon their current standing of sixth place. With just a three-point gap from The Tigers, Al Ahli sees Al Ittihad sit in second. The Classy's even with the firepower front three of Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino and Allan Saint-Maximin were held to a goalless draw against Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq last game.

Kick-Off:

Friday, 6 October at 7:00 PM UK (11:30 PM IST)

Location: King Abdullah Sports City

Form

Al Ittihad (in all competitions): D-W-W-W-W

Al Ahli (in all competitions): D-W-L-W-L

Players to watch in Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli

Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad)

The French centre-forward has missed the last four games for Al Ittihad in all competitions. Karim Benzema's last appearance came against Al Akhdoud where he played the full 90 minutes and also scored the winning goal. We have seen Al Ittihad posting on 4 October with a "Welcome back" message for Karim Benzema on X (formerly Twitter). And as Benzema was in the training attire, we might see him back on the pitch be it from the start or as a substitute.

Firas Al-Buraikan (Al Ahli)

Amidst the star summer signings of Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, Allan Saint-Maximin and a few others, the Firas Al-Buraikan signing may have gone unnoticed. But the former Al Fateh star has been impressive for the Al Ahli side. The left-footed forward has scored 5 goals in 7 appearances in the Saudi Pro League. Al-Buraikan could be used as a super-sub in this fixture.

Match facts for Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli

  • Al Ittihad have conceded the least number of goals in the entire Saudi Pro League division. Just 5 goals conceded in 8 games
  • In just the last five competitive games, Al Ahli have conceded 13 goals. That's about 2.6 goals every game against them
  • In two of the last Saudi League away games, Al Ahli have lost both while conceding 4 or more goals in each

Injury & team news for Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli

Al Ittihad's coach Nuno Espírito Santo has two players out with ligament injuries. One is former West Brom centre-back Ahmed Hegazy and the other one is goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Jadani. Karim Benzema could be the major boost as he is expected to be one of the names on the teamsheet.

The away side Al Ahli also have a player out with a ligament injury. The defensive midfielder Abdullah Otayf's return is not known yet. Head coach Matthias Jaissle is expected to name the same trio of Mahrez, Firmino and Saint-Maximin for his frontline. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy will also retain his spot.

Head to Head

Total Matches – 46

Al Ittihad wins – 17

Al Ahli wins – 16

Draws – 13

Predicted Lineup for Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli

Al Ittihad predicted lineup (3-5-2):

Grohe (GK); Felipe, Kadesh, Hawsawi; Bamsaud, Coronado, Fabinho, Kante, Shanqeeti; Romarinho, Benzema

Al Ahli predicted lineup (4-3-3):

Mendy (GK); Majrashi, Ibanez, Al-Hindi, Yaslam; Veiga, Al-Majhad, Kessie; Mahrez, Firmino, Saint-Maximin

Match Prediction for Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli

Al Ittihad's defensive record is very strong in the whole division this season. It might trouble Al Ahli even with their offensive trio of Mahrez, Firmino and Saint-Maximin. Nuno Espírito Santo will be eager for his home side to display their calibre in this clutch match after dealing with a draw against Al Feiha and narrowly edging out Al Kholood in penalties. The Al Kholood game was also a draw in normal time.

Prediction: Al Ittihad 4-2 Al Ahli

Telecast details for Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli

India – Sony Sports Network

UK – DAZN, Sky Sports

US –  ESPN

Nigeria – Sporty TV

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