Saudi Pro League: Preview Al Ettifaq vs Al Hazem | Date: December 28, 2023 | Time: 20:30 Hrs. | Location: Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Al Ettifaq Football Club نادي الاتفاق لكرة القدم is going head to head with Al-Hazem SC نادي الحزم السعودي starting on Dec. 28th , 2023 at 23:30 Hrs. The match is a part of the Saudi Professional League.
Preview Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr
On matchday 19 of the Saudi Pro League season, Al Ettifaq hosts last-place Al Hazem in their final domestic match of 2023 at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium.
Al-Nassr’s 3-1 victory against the Dammam club last Friday extended their winless streak to eight games across all competitions. Meanwhile, Al Hazem’s 4-0 home loss to Al-Ahli Saudi Arabia left them four points below the relegation zone.
The Commandos couldn’t overcome another slow start on Friday, falling short of their longest winless streak in league action since the 2021–22 season and losing for the seventh time in a row in this competition.
The former Liverpool midfielder’s best bet until then would be to encourage his club to get better in front of goal, since they have only scored twice in their last eight competitive games.
Even though they are struggling, Al Ettifaq is performing better in the standings than they were a season ago. With 18 domestic games played so far, they have 24 points, which is five more than they had at this point in the 2022–2023 campaign.
As of this stage in the season, Al Ettifaq appears to be more effective when trailing at home rather than leading. They have gained seven points when behind at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium and five points when leading at halftime.
They have won their last three domestic meetings with Al Hazem, and their most recent loss to them came in 2019–20 at home (3-2).
Al Hazem had defeated Al Fateh 2-0 on December 1st, but after a bright start to the month, the home team’s performance deteriorated in the last forty-five minutes of the match.
With more than half of their domestic goals conceded this season (29/46) happening in Rass, playing away from home may be the best option for this team, even though their two campaign triumphs have come at home thus far.
In their last ten competitive games, they have given up a total of 26 goals, although since taking over, Jose Daniel Carreno’s team has scored in all but two of those contests.
After losing their first nine league games under former manager Filipe Gouveia, they have only lost back-to-back games once under the new manager from Uruguay.
They have struggled to hold onto second-half leads since the beginning of November, giving up five points while leading in the last 45 minutes.
Their only four wins over Al Ettifaq have come away from home, and in each of those contests, Al Hazem scored three goals.
Hamed Al-Ghamdi replaced Ahmed Al-Ghamdi after the latter took a knock to the head in the first few minutes of the Al Ettifaq match against Al-Nassr.
After receiving a red card in their 0-0 tie with Al-Shabab, Demarai Gray has not played in his past two games, and Vitinho is still out due to a tendon injury that he sustained at the end of August.
When they lost to Al-Nassr, Mohammed Al-Kuwaykibi scored his first goal of the season. Meanwhile, Moussa Dembele, who leads the team with seven goals, hasn’t scored since they lost to Al-Fateh 2-1 on October 5.
On matchdays 17 and 18, Al Hazem made two changes to their starting lineup: Benjamin Traore and Muhammad Badamosi replaced Ahmed Al-M’hemaid and Vina, respectively.
Aymen Dahmen has given up five goals in his last two games, four of which have come in the second half, since recording a clean sheet at the start of December.
They defeated Abha 1-1 in their latest road game thanks to a goal from Comoros international Faiz Selemani in the 64th minute, moving him one goal behind Toze for the team lead in goals scored.
Al Ettifaq possible starting lineup:
Victor; Al-Otaibi, Tisserand, Hendry, Al-Khateeb; Al-Ghamdi; Quaison, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Al-Kuwaykibi; Dembele
Al Hazem possible starting lineup:
Dahmen; Al-Bakr, Ricardo, Viana, Al-Aazmi; Al-Thani, Abousaban, Traore, Toze; Badamosi, Selemani
Al Ettifaq vs Al Hazem: Prediction
We think Al Ettifaq’s big-game experience will overcome Al Hazem in this meeting. Playing a defensively weak team like Al Hazem might be just what Al Ettifaq needs to rebuild their confidence.