Al Ahli Dubai vs Al Ahli Jeddah
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 29 May 2017
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
Dubai’s Al Ahli earned a precious draw in Jeddah last week, and they have the upper hand, thanks to Khamis Esmail’s goal in the 20th minute. Off the field, as I explained last week, they find themselves in a very… weird situation, especially the players. By royal decree, Al Ahli, Al Shabab, and Dubai Club, merged into one team, which, obviously, cannot have 60-65 players. The best ones will be chosen to form part of the newly created side, and these two games against Jeddah’s Al Ahli serve not only as a possible passage to the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League, but also as a test, for the players to prove that they should be kept in the team, and maybe even sign new contracts, with improved conditions for them.
Jeddah’s Al Ahli were left with a bittersweet taste last week. After going down early in the game, at least they managed to earn a draw, which means that now they are in a disadvantaged position, for sure, but not in an impossible one. What’s… worrying for them, is that in the group stage, the only ‘away’ game they won, wasn’t exactly away, since their 2-1 over Iranian side Zob Ahan was hosted at a neutral venue. At Al Ain they did get a 2-2 draw, and they lost 2-0 at Bunyodkor. They really need to play better than in all those three games to beat this opponent, not at a neutral venue, but in their real home.
Al Ahli Dubai vs Al Ahli Jeddah: Head-to-head Stats
Dubai’s Al Ahli have hosted Jeddah’s Al Ahli twice before, they beat them 3-2 in 2002, while in 2015 these two produced another thrilling match, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
Al Ahli Dubai vs Al Ahli Jeddah: Prediction
Dubai’s Al Ahli had major ups and downs at home in the group stage, from beating Esteghlal 2-1 they went to drawing 0-0 to Al Taawon and then to beating Lokomotiv Tashkent 4-0. In this game, I expect them to show their good side, score at least twice, and win.
Al Ahli Dubai vs Al Ahli Jeddah: Tips
A win of the hosts pays 1.80. If you find that less than satisfying, a win of theirs in a game that will have at least three goals pays much-much better.