Laurentiu Reghecampf insists Al Wahda’s 5-0 thrashing of Dibba Al Fujairah will have little bearing on their Arabian Gulf Cup encounter Saturday.
The Clarets thumped Dibba on the Arabian Gulf League’s opening day three weeks ago and stand top of the table after three wins, with the Romanian’s reign getting off to a fine start following four games unbeaten in all competitions.
The Clarets drew their opening AG Cup game 1-1 with Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and will be expected to get their maiden win at Fujairah Stadium, but Reghecampf believes Dibba – who reacted to that opening day mauling with back to back victories – will be out for revenge.
“There is no comparison between the match between Dibba in the first round of the league and the match today,” said the new man in charge at Al Nahyan Stadium.
“The game will be difficult and Dibba have the incentive to respond to the loss in the league match, while we seek to continue the series of victories after winning all our previous league games.”
Hungary winger Balazs Dzsudzsak and South Korea defender Rim Chang-woo are on international duty so are absent for Wahda, while defender Salem Sultan misses out through injury.
Elsewhere, Shabab Al Ahli host Sharjah at Rashid Stadium and the King’s coach Jose Peseiro is pleased that his side appear to be taking shape with the completion of their four-man foreign quota recently.
Deals for Brazilian attackers Welliton Vander Vieira were wrapped up at the end of last month, the duo joining Chilean midfielder Cesar Pinares and Australian centre-back Ryan McGowan to complete the four foreign slots.
And Portuguese coach Peseiro says the new recruits have integrated quickly with the rest of the team, although he feels it may be a month before his team reach peak form.
“The foreign players are making a great effort to merge quickly with the team despite their recent presence in the squad, they are doing their utmost to harmonise quickly,” said Peseiro, the former Al Wahda chief.
“I am confident that within a month the team will reach the ideal readiness after completing the integration and harmony between the players and they will have a full understanding of the plans and training.”
Pinares will not feature in Dubai as he is away with the Chile team who beat Ecuador 2-1 yesterday and face Brazil on Wednesday looking to secure a place at next year’s World Cup.
Mohammed Jaber and Mohamed Ibrahim will also not feature as they are on loan from Saturday’s opponents.
In the day’s other game, Al Dhafra travel to promoted Ajman who are winless this season after four defeats in all competitions – scoring just two goals.
But that does not mean the Western Knights will be approaching the match at Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Stadium believing victory is a given, according to young midfielder Khalaf Al Hosani.
“We will deal with the game seriously and try to win,” said the 21-year-old, who has featured in three of Dhafra’s four games this season.
“Ajman are a good team and their results so far do not serve to do their performances justice. They have good players especially in attack.”