Saudi Pro League: Preview Al Nassr vs Al Riyadh | Date: December 8, 2023 | Time: 23:30 Hrs. | Location: Al Awal Park at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
As game week 16 commences, we, Proleaguefootballsaudi.com share preview of Al Nassr vs Al Riyadh scheduled for Dec. 8, 2023 at 23:30 Hrs local time.
Preview: Al Nassr vs Al Riyadh
When Al-Nassr takes on Al Riyadh at Al Awal Park at King Saud University on Friday night in the Saudi Pro League, they’ll be looking to get back on track.
After 15 games, the hosts have 34 points, good for second place in the league, while the visitors are in 13th position, three points above the relegation zone.
After a 1-1 draw with Istiklol in the middle of the week, Al-Nassr emerged victorious from their group in the AFC Champions League, ensuring that all four Saudi Pro League teams advanced to the competition’s knockout stages.
The Knights of Najd have already lost three straight games, including a catastrophic 3-0 loss to league leaders Al Hilal last weekend and a 1-1 draw to Persepolis, as a result of that outcome.
After that loss, Al Ahli and Al Ittihad are now within four and six points, respectively, of surpassing Al Nassr for an AFC Champions League qualifying spot, but the distance between them and the league leaders has now grown to seven points.
Nevertheless, Luis Castro’s team was unbeaten in 12 league games before last week’s loss, so they will be optimistic about their chances of winning this game against a newly promoted opponent.
The hosts have not lost at this location since the opening week of the season and are riding a three-game winning streak. This season, they have been extremely strong at home.
Al Riyadh, meanwhile, has built a strong foundation following their eagerly anticipated return to the top division; yet, they cannot afford too many bad outcomes while the teams in the drop zone are still very much in their rearview mirror.
Odair Hellmann appears to be settling in nicely after losing his first two games in charge. He has won his last three games, including an unexpected victory over Al Tawoon, a team ranked in the top five.
The new manager may have expected more from their most recent game, though, as they were held to a dismal 0-0 draw at home by bottom-of-the-table Al Hazm.
In terms of away records, Al Riyadh is ranked 12th with seven points from a possible twenty-one. Despite this, they have conceded the second-most goals of any team in the top division this season—eighteen—in those seven away games.
Naturally, everyone’s attention will be focused on Cristiano Ronaldo’s availability for this game, given Castro’s decision to bench the captain against Istiklol in the middle of the week.
Apart from the Portuguese sensation, David Ospina is the only other injured player in this encounter. Since Nawaf Alaqidi was not included in the previous game, Raghed Al-Najjar may start in goal for the home team.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s availability for this match will undoubtedly be the center of interest, considering Castro’s choice to sit as the captain against Istiklol in the middle of the week.
Except for the sensation from Portugal, David Ospina is the only other injured player in this match. Raghed Al-Najjar might start in goal for the home team because Nawaf Alaqidi was not used in the last match.
Al-Nassr vs Al Riyadh Possible Starting Lineup:
Al-Nassr possible starting lineup:
Al-Najjar; Ghanam, Al-Fatil, Laporte, Telles; Brozovic, Fofana; Talisca, Otavio, Mane; Ronaldo
Al Riyadh possible starting lineup:
Campana; Al- Shuwayyi, Arslanagic, Asiri, al-Khaibari; Toure, Rashidi, Al-Shehri, Ndong, Al Dossari, Al Abbas
Our Prediction: Al-Nassr 3-1 Al Riyadh
Against a team that has just been promoted, Al Nassr is heavily favored to end a three-match losing streak. We believe that the Knights of Najd will be too strong in this match, even if CR7 is rested for it.