Saudi Pro League Game: Al Riyadh vs Al Fayha | Date: September 22, 2023 | Time: 20:30 Hrs. | Location: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Al Riyadh vs Al Fayha: Preview
Friday night in the Saudi Pro League, Al Riyadh will host Al Fayha at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in an effort to snap a four-game losing streak.
Prior to this weekend’s encounter, the hosts were suffering at the bottom of the Saudi pro League standings, and Al Fayha had not won in more than four games at the start of the new campaign.
Last Friday, Al Riyadh’s 6-1 loss against league-leading Al Hilal at a location where both teams play their home games extended there losing streak in the Saudi Pro League to four games.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored to make it five goals in four games since leaving Craven Cottage in the summer, while Salem Al-Dawsari, a former Fulham striker, put in a strong display for Al Hilal and managed to score a brilliant brace.
Only Damac and Al Hazem have accumulated fewer points in the first six games of the 2023–24 season than Yannick Ferrera’s team, who are now ranked 16th in the Pro League rankings.
Al Riyadh, Friday’s opponents, have a defensive problem as they have given up an alarming 16 goals in their first six games, three more than any other team in the division.
Andre Grey, a Jamaican who recently made a free move from Greek team Aris Thessaloniki, is hoping to score goals for Ferrera’s team at the other end.
Al Fayha enters this match following a dismal opening night in the AFC Champions League, losing 1-0 away against Turkmenistan’s Ahal at the Asgabat Stadiony.
The visitors’ fortunes haven’t been fantastic either, and aside from a victory on the opening day against Al Khaleej on August 12, Vuk Rasovic’s team hasn’t won at home.
Al Fayha, which has six points from as many games and is now ranked 10th in the league, will be aiming for their second maximum of the season on Friday night, especially given that they will be playing title-contending Al Ittihad the following week.
As a result of Henry Onyekuru and Fashion Sakala’s recent moves to the Middle East, aficionados of European football may recognise several of the players on the Al Fayha roster.
When Rasovic’s team won a creditable draw at Neymar’s Al Hilal earlier in the season, former Rangers player Sakala scored the first goal. This point in Riyadh stands as their sole successful away performance this season.
This Friday, Zaid Al Bawardi, 26, will still be unavailable for Al Riyadh because he has yet to play for the team since joining from Al Shabab during the summer transfer window.
Martin Campana, who had a difficult start to the season, will retake his position in goal because of the absence of the former Al Nassr player; the Uruguayan will be seeking to keep his second shutout of the year.
After moving from Al Taee back in June, Knowledge Musona, 33, will be expecting to have the same influence at Al Riyadh as he does for his national team, Zimbabwe.
Defence is a concern for Al Fayha going into Friday’s game after center-back Husein Al Shuwaish was substituted at halftime in the Pro League loss to Al Shabab.
In that defeat against Juan Ignacio Brown’s team, Mokher Alrashidi and fellow countryman Sami Al Khaibari both played in the second half. This partnership is anticipated to start the game.
Al Riyadh vs Al Fayha: Prediction
A home match against Al Fayha gives an opportunity to pick up at least a point for Al Riyadh, who have battled to control some of the Pro League’s top teams over the previous month.
However, we anticipate a split of the spoils on Friday night. Given their desire to challenge at the top of the standings, the visitors will consider this game as one they must win.