Saudi Pro League: Preview Al Hilal vs Al Taawoun | Date: November 10, 2023 | Time: 20:30 Hrs. | Location: King Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
As game week 13 commences, we, Proleaguefootballsaudi.com share preview of Al Hilal vs Al Taawoun scheduled for Nov. 10, 2023 at 23:30 Hrs local time.
Preview: Al Hilal vs Al Taawoun
Al-Hilal will host Al-Taawoun at the King Fahd International Stadium on Friday in an attempt to maintain their perfect start to the season and increase their lead at the top of the Saudi Pro League standings.
After twelve league games, the home team leads the division by four points after winning five in a row, while the visiting team is currently only seven points behind in third place.
Al-Hilal has had a great start to the 2023–24 Saudi Pro League season in their attempt to win the championship back. They are presently leading the table with 32 points from their first 12 games, having not lost and already recording 10 victories.
After playing out their second draw of the season in late September, the Blue Waves are now coming into Friday’s match on the strength of five straight league victories. They have only allowed eight goals in 12 games, while no other team in the Saudi top flight has conceded more goals than they have scored in that impressive opening run.
The Blue Waves improved on that performance last Friday when they defeated Al Fateh 2-0 on the road. Mitrovic and Salem Al-Dawsari both scored again in that game. Now, the team is heading into the Saudi Pro League campaign fresh off another continental triumph. On Monday, they defeated Mumbai City 2-0 on the road behind goals from Michael and Mitrovic in the second half to maintain their group top spot in the AFC Champions League with 10 points from four games.
With momentum firmly on their side and a short turnaround ahead of them, Al-Hilal will shift their attention back to domestic action on Friday in an attempt to win six straight league games and pull seven points clear of the competition for the Pro League championship.
That won’t be an easy task, though, as Al-Taawoun, who arrived on Friday, have had a fantastic start to the season and are currently ranked third in the Saudi top flight with 25 points from their first 12 games.
The Wolves have shown resilience in the early going of the new season after finishing in fifth place the previous time around. They have only lost once, and Friday’s hosts have given up fewer goals than they have allowed.
Karim Benzema’s own goal leveled the score after he had given the visitors the lead four minutes earlier, and they would first take a creditable point from a 1-1 draw with Al-Ittihad. Later, Joao Pedro earned them another share of the spoils with an equalizer away at Al Khaleej, after the visitors had taken an early 1-0 lead.
Al-Taawoun will look to defy the odds on Friday and return to winning ways to pull even with second-place Al-Nassr and close the gap to the leaders. This comes after a goalless draw at home against Damac, which did extend their unbeaten streak to six league games but also saw them drop three points behind the leaders and backlevel with Al-Ahli.
Star player Neymar, who suffered a long-term ligament injury while playing for Brazil internationally last month, will not be available for Al-Hilal. In his first five games with the team, he had three assists and one goal.
Jesus does still have a lot of attacking talent at his disposal, though, and we should see an unchanged front four in their 4-2-3-1 formation, with Aleksandar Mitrovic—who joined the Blue Waves from Fulham—being supported by the dangerous trio of Michael, Malcom, and Salem Al-Dawsari. Mitrovic has already scored 16 goals in 16 appearances for the Blue Waves, nine of which have come in 10 Saudi Pro League games, along with two assists.
Behind that front line, Ali Al-Bulayhi and Hassan Tambakti will compete to join former Chelsea and Napoli player Kalidou Koulibaly at the center of the back four in front of goalkeeper Yassine Bounou. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will hope to return in midfield alongside fellow summer signing Ruben Neves.
Joao Pedro, who has scored four goals in his seven Saudi Pro League appearances since joining the team, should continue to lead the line for Al-Taawoun, who may stick with their current 4-3-3 formation after their recent draw with Damac.
Though he will face competition from players like Sattam Al-Roqi and Abdulfattah Adam, Saad Al-Nasser could once again complete the front three. Musa Barrow, who has also managed four goals in his first nine games for the Wolves, will maintain his spot on the left flank.
In other areas, Andrei Girotto and Waleed Al-Ahmad should stick together in defense following their most recent clean sheet, while Ashraf El Mahdioui and Flavio are stalwarts in the engine room.
Possible Starting IX: Al Hilal vs Al Taawoun
Al-Hilal possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Abdulhamid, Koulibaly, Al-Bulayhi, Al-Shahrani; Neves, Milinkovic-Savic; Michael, Malcom, Al-Dawsari; Mitrovic
Al-Taawoun possible starting lineup:
Maylson; Abdulaziz, Girotto, Al-Ahmad, Faquihi; Flavio, El Mahdioui, Medran; Al-Nasser, Pedro, Barrow
Prediction: Al-Hilal 2-0 Al-Taawoun
Al-Taawoun, who have only lost by a narrow margin once this season in the Saudi Pro League, won’t be easy to beat on Friday. However, Al-Hilal has the means to exploit the visitors’ tight defense, outperform the Wolves at home, and increase their lead in points by three.