Saudi Pro League: Preview Al Ittihad vs Al Khaleej | Date: November 30, 2023 | Time: 23:30 Hrs. | Location: King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
As game week 15 commences, we, Proleaguefootballsaudi.com share preview of Al Ittihad vs Al Khaleej scheduled for Nov. 30, 2023 at 23:30 Hrs local time.
Preview Al Ittihad vs Al Khaleej
Al Ittihad will try to get closer to the top three teams in the league when they play Al Khaleej at King Abdul aziz Sports City Stadium on Thursday night in Gameweek 15 of the Saudi Pro League.
This season, these teams are traveling very different routes. The home team is now in fourth place in the league rankings, while the visiting team is currently in 14th place, just three points above the dreaded drop zone.
The reigning champions, Al Ittihad, haven’t been able to replicate their winning ways from the previous campaign when they defeated Al Nassr by five points and ended an 11-year league title drought.
The Tigers finished the league with 25 points after 14 games, 13 points behind league leaders Al Hilal and the bottom-ranked of the four PIF-owned teams in the Saudi top division. Their most recent league match ended in a 1-1 draw away to Al Ittifaq.
They did, however, recover from that setback with a convincing 2-1 victory over AGMK in the AFC Champions League on Monday night, which kept them atop Group C. However, given their league play this season, they might have to depend on winning that competition to have a shot at playing in it again the following season.
Abderrazak Hamdallah, a former midfielder for Al Nassr, has been Al Ittihad’s best player lately. He scored the game’s first goal and the crucial equalizer against Steven Gerrard’s Al Ittifaq last weekend.
After taking over for Nuno Espirito Santo earlier this month, Marcelo Gallardo has led the hosts to a perfect record. With just one loss in their previous six home games, the new manager will be optimistic heading into this encounter.
Al Khaleej, on the other hand, finished first in the league the previous season and appears destined to contend with the bottom spot this year after picking up just 13 points from their first 14 games.
Al-Danah enters this game coming off a depressing 3-1 loss to Al Wehda on the road last weekend, in which Fabio Martins converted a penalty kick for his team in the first half and Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick.
The visitors’ only league win in their previous seven games came against Al Tai, who are currently in 13th place, just before we went into the international break earlier this month. This result marked the visitors’ seventh loss of the season.
Pedro Emanuel’s team failed to win against this opponent in eight previous meetings, losing six and drawing two. Last season, they played this fixture both home and away without scoring a single goal.
Al Ittihad may be without up to eight players for this game due to an injury crisis; the only players who have a chance of playing before kickoff are Aseel Abed and Awad Al-Nashri.
Romarinho and N’Golo Kante are among the confirmed absences. However, Karim Benzema appears fully fit after missing a few games last month, and the Frenchman should lead the line for the home team once more.
Goalie Ibrahim Sehic and defender Omar Al-Oudah are out for the visiting team going into this game, so Marwan Al-Haidari will likely start in goal for the time being.
Khaled Narey, a forward from Togo, was shown two yellow cards against Al Tai, which prevented him from playing against Al Wehda the previous week. However, he should be back in the starting lineup for this match.
Al Ittihad possible starting lineup:
Al-Maiouf; Al-Shanqeeti, Felipe, Kadesh, Bamsaud; Fabinho, Al-Ghamdi, Al Amri, Hamdallah, Jota; Benzema
Al Khaleej possible starting lineup:
Al-Haidari; Al Hamsal, Al-Khabrani, Lopez, Rebocho; Narey, Hamzi, Jung, Rodrigues, Martins; Sherif
Our Prediction: Al Ittihad 2-0 Al Khaleej
Even though Al Ittihad hasn’t played well lately, they have defeated teams in the bottom half of the table fairly easily this year. The visitors don’t think they will win this one either, as they have never defeated this opponent in the top flight.