Al Nasr players attend a training session ahead of their match against Al Bataeh. Courtesy: Twitter
Al Jazira will look to climb up the standings with a victory over Al Dhafra in their 12th round match ofthe Pro League on Saturday.
Al Jazira will take on Al Dhafra in an early kick-off as Al Nasr will meet Al Bataeh simultaneously elsewhere. The matches will be played across two days – Saturday and Sunday. In the late match of the day, Al Ain will face Al Wasl.
Al Jazira coach Marcel Keizer said that they are confident ahead of the Al Dhafra match as there are no injury concerns in the side and he expects to field a full-strength team.
“I am confident we will perform better and we will improve in every aspect, especially after we retrieve the injured players. The players who were out for a long time reached their fitness levels,” said Kiezer.
“Khalfan is reaching his best form and he was quite impressive in the last match against Al Batayeh, where he scored one goal and assisted Mabkhout to score.
“Florin Tanase joined the training and he is almost fit, and this means that we will have two of our most important strikers ready to help the team and give us more options in attack during matches.
”Al Jazira are at the sixth spot in the standings with20 points from 11 matches, having procured six wins, two draws and three losses. He also revealed Al Jazira will play three friendly matches during January as the league will go into a break for a month because of the national team’s participation in the upcoming GCC Cup in Iraq.
“The league will stop for one month after tomorrow’s match, and we will work during this period to keep the players fit and ready,and we will play three friendlies to help us achieve this,” added the coach.He also said they have a deep respect for their opponents and will not take them lightly. Al Dhafra are at the bottom of the table. They have not won any match since their victory over Shabab Al Ahli in the fourth round of the tournament.
“Al Dhafra are improving and doing well despite their ranking in the League table. I am sure this improvement will help them win games and reach a higher ranking.
“They’ve always created problems for us when we face them and we expect the same to happen tomorrow, and we will do our best to be ready to give our best and fight for the three points,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, both Al Nasr and Al Bataeh will look to bounce back from the disappointment of their losses in the last round matches.Both the teams are lying at the bottom half of the table.
Al Batayeh are at the 11th spot followed by al Nasr in the 12th. But Al Batayeh, who gained promotion to the top flight in their season only, are six points ahead with Al Nasr having only six in their kitty.Holders Al Ain will bid to return to winning ways after playing two consecutive draws against Sharjah and Bani Yas in their 10thand 11th round matches respectively.“We aim to win the next match as is the case like the other matches. Unfortunately, we lost two important points last match, but as Istated in several press statements that all teams lose points in this league,” he said.
He played down the talks of their position on the table and said they take it match by match.
“Our next match is Al Wasl, and regardless of position on the standing table, we must prepare well and seriously. All the players should focus on the coming match and that we are playing at home. This motivates us to spare no effort to win the match and snatch its three pints,” he said.
Speaking about their defence, he said: “Yes, I said in the previous conference that we are facing certain challenges in the defence. If we compare the goals expected to be scored in our match against Bani Yas, we will find there are more than four critical chances. Indeed, there are more chances than our match against Al Wahda,” he added.
He confirmed that the actual issue that the team faces lies in the lack of fulfilling the defence roles. He said the team scored two goals in the Bani Yas match, but we conceded the same. Comparing the past and the current squads, Rebrov rated the erstwhile team as better.
“We are the best team in the league in total goals scored, but we are in the middle regarding the goals conceded. This is the actual problem we are facing. This is why we must focus and work hard and focus on the team’s defensive system,” Rebrov added.
“Again, we created many chances in the recent match,but we failed to turn them into goals. We are preparing for the coming match by being serious, and we have many issues to handle and improve and pay more attention to.“Certain players suffer from injuries, and we focus on their recovery as such a tight and busy schedule makes it difficult for all teams and not only Al Ain,” he informed.He pointed out that the coaching team will assess the players’ readiness and select players in form to start the match and who enjoy an impressive fighting spirit to fight for the team.