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Preview: Al Ittihad vs Abha Prediction, Team news, Lineups

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Saudi Pro League: Preview Al Ittihad vs Abha Date: November 10, 2023 | Time: 23:30 Hrs. | LocationKing Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

As game week 13 commences, we, share preview of Al Ittihad vs Abha scheduled for Nov. 10, 2023 at 23:30 Hrs local time.

Al Ittihad will host Abha in the Saudi Professional League’s round 13 on Friday, following their first loss in the AFC Champions League this season.

The Leaders of the South will travel to Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium to defeat the hosts and climb into the top half of the table, having lost the last five meetings between the teams.

Preview: Al Ittihad vs Abha

Al Ittihad lost their match in the AFC Champions League on Monday, falling to Iraq-based team Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 2-0, marking their first back-to-back losses since May 2022.

At the Franco Hariri Stadium, the Tigers gave up their second Group C victory to the home team thanks to goals from 30-year-old Mohanad Abdulraheem and Ali Jasim Elaibi in each half.

This was the last straw for head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who was fired from his position leading the Jehah-based team following the loss, exactly one year and four months after being hired.

Despite leading Al Ittihad to their first Professional League championship in more than ten years, the Portuguese manager was reportedly at odds with star signing and former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

Even though their 2023 Club World Cup opener against Auckland City is just over a month away, their record of just two wins and three losses in eight games across all competitions, including a 1-0 loss against Al Shabab in their most recent league involvement, did not help his case.

Al Ittihad will now play in the Professional League again. Since defeating Al-Fateh 2-1 on September 21, they have lost twice, drawn three times, and gone five games without a victory.

Before that run of victories, the Tigers had won six of their first seven games. Their decline in performance has been attributed to their attack problems, as they have only managed three goals and no goals in three league games since their victory over Al-Fateh in September.

Saudi Pro League Team Standing

Despite their recent difficulties, Al Ittihad leads Group C with nine points from four Champions League games, two points ahead of second-place Sepahan. They are currently sixth in the Professional League standings, four points behind third-place Al-Taawoun.

Abha, on the other hand, maintained their upward trajectory into the top half of the Professional League rankings last weekend at the Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium, where they overcame Al Okhdood 3-2 after coming from behind.

Grzegorz Krychowiak’s first goal was canceled out by goals from Andrei Burca and Musleh Al Shaikh, giving the visitors a lead at halftime. However, an own goal by Solomon Kvirkvelia in the 59th minute brought the score back to even, and Karl Toko Ekambi scored his fourth league goal of the year to complete the comeback.

Before that, on October 31, Abha surprised Al-Ahli with a 2-1 victory in Jeddah thanks to goals from Ahmed Abdu and Ekambi, securing their place in the King’s Cup quarterfinals.

After winning three of their first 11 games of the season, the Leaders of the South have now won three straight in all competitions, scoring seven goals and giving up four.

Youssef Manai’s team is currently in 12th place in the Professional League standings with 13 points from 12 games, five points above the bottom three. If they win all three of their remaining games this weekend, they could tie eighth-place Al-Wehda.

Abha will try to win four straight games for the first time since December of last year, but they will have to prove themselves against an Al Ittihad team that has won all five of their previous encounters, conceding just three goals and scoring 18 goals since a 1-0 loss in January of 2021.

Abha Training day_

Al ittihad Training day_

Team News

Hassan Khalifa, an assistant coach, will take over in the dugout this weekend after Espirito Santo leaves, and the 55-year-old will be hoping to start his Al Ittihad career with a victory.

Regarding injuries, the Tigers are still without former West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazy, who has been out since May due to a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Ahmed Bamasud is doubtful after leaving Monday’s Champions League match hurt, and former Al-Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Jadani is still out for some time due to an ACL injury sustained in May.

After joining Abha from Lyon in the summer, Ekambi has contributed to six goals in ten games. After his game-winning effort against Al-Okhdood, we anticipate the 31-year-old to spearhead the team’s offensive once more.

In the closing third, Abdu and winger Fahad Bin Jumayah ought to assist, and Krychowiak, a former player for Paris Saint-Germain, and Zakaria Al-Sudani ought to continue playing centrally.

The veteran right-back Saleh Al Qumayzi was forced off against Al-Okhdood shortly after the half-hour mark due to a game-ending injury, and he is not in contention for this weekend’s match.

Possible Starting IX: Al Ittihad vs Abha

Al Ittihad possible starting lineup:
Al-Mayouf; Al-Hawsawi, Kadesh, Hawsawi, Al-Olayan; Al-Ghamdi, Kante, Romarinho; Jota, Benzema, Camara

Abha possible starting lineup:
Tätärusanu; Al-Hbeab; Natiq, Noguera, Oufi; Al-Sudani, Krychowiak; Bguir; Jumayah, Ekambi, Abdu

Prediction: Al Ittihad 2-1 Abha

A struggling Al-Ittihad team should feel more confident going into the weekend after winning five of their last six games against Abha, but they should also prepare for a tough challenge from the visitors, who have found their rhythm after a slow start to the season. Nonetheless, the Tigers have the arsenal to finish the job, so we predict them to win once more.

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