Bani Yas coach Jorge da Silva has urged his side to beat Al Nasr on Monday night to close the gap on the Arabian Gulf League top four and give themselves a lift ahead of their Asian assignment on Saturday.
Da Silva’s side entertain the Blue Wave in Abu Dhabi looking to bounce back from a derby day defeat against Al Wahda.
With their AFC Champions League second round qualifying play-off against Al Qadsia of Kuwait to come this weekend, Al Samawi had hoped to put pressure on the teams ahead of them with victory in their two rearranged league fixtures.
Losing the first has stalled Bani Yas’ progress somewhat, they were unbeaten in five league games prior to Tuesday night, but they can still leapfrog Wahda and move to within two points of fourth-placed Sharjah with victory.
“This is a very important match, just like every match, but it needs a special focus because we lost against Al Wahda,” Da Silva said. “We need to come back in this match because next week we play in the AFC Champions League and we need to focus on this match to give us momentum.”
The hosts will be without Sebastian Prediger for the game in Al Shamkha, as the Argentine midfielder has failed to shrug off the injury that forced him off at halftime against Wahda.
“We need to get these points to close the gap to the top four,” added Da Silva, whose side start the evening a point ahead of ninth-placed Nasr.
Bani Yas winger Ahmed Dada also urged his team-mates not to lose focus.
He said: “We have two matches in five days this week, it’s not very long but we should focus first of all on this match and after that think about Asia.”
Nasr could hand a second debut to UAE defender Ali Al Ameri in Al Shamkha after the 25-year-old signed from Al Jazira last week.
Al Ameri, who was part of Mahdi Ali’s squad for the London Olympics and the Gulf Cup of Nations, previously spent a six-month loan spell in Dubai at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Meanwhile, Bani Yas have confirmed they made attempts to add a loan signing before their AFC Champions League qualifier.
Chairman Mubarak Awad told Sport360° that talks had taken place with several clubs about the possibility of signing a local player on a temporary basis to help them in the continental competition.