With the new AGL season upon us we have the lowdown on each and every team aiming to compete for the title.
From the key ins and outs over the course of the summer to our predictions for this year’s competition, we have you covered.
Who do you think will be crowned AGL champions?
NICKNAME: Red Knights
COACH: Cosmin Olaroiu
STAR PLAYER: Everton Ribeiro
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Walid Amber
2015/16 FINISH: Champions
KEY INS: Mohammed Jaber (Bani Yas), Asamoah Gyan (Shanghai SIPG – loan)
KEY OUTS: Humaid Abbas (free agent – Al Wasl), Ahmed Dida (Bani Yas), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce – loan)
PREDICTION: If the chemistry is right between experienced forwards Lima and Gyan, the AGL’s strongest squad should be unstoppable. Remain the team to beat under unceasing Olaroiu.
NICKNAME: The Boss
COACH: Zlatko Dalic
STAR PLAYER: Omar Abdulrahman
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Saeed Al Menhali
2015/16 FINISH: Runners-up
KEY INS: Amer Abdulrahman (Bani Yas), Caio (Kashima Antlers)
KEY OUTS: Mohammed Fawzi (Al Jazira), Helal Saeed (released), Fellipe Bastos (Bani Yas)
PREDICTION: So many question marks remain about the Boss, for whom their foreign contingent are suspect. Will need to click immediately to stand any chance of keeping pace with rivals Ahli.
Nickname: Sky Blues
COACH: Pablo Repetto
STAR PLAYER: Joaquin Larrivey
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Suhail Al Noubi
2015/16 FINISH: Ninth
KEY INS: Amer Omar (Al Wahda), Faisel Ahmed (Dibba Al Fujairah), Ahmed Dida (Al Ahli), Ali Al Ameri (Al Nasr)
KEY OUTS: Mohammed Jaber (Al Ahli), Amer Abdulrahman (Al Ain), Fawaz Awana (Al Nasr)
PREDICTION: Highly-rated boss Repetto will need to repeat the magic from his time in South America to see underperforming club escape mid-table.
NICKNAME: Western Knights
COACH: Mohamed Kwid
STAR PLAYER: Omar Khrbin
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Abdulla Al Naqbi
2015/16 FINISH: Eighth
KEY INS: Mohammed Al Moeini, Sanad Ali (both Dibba Al Fujairah)
KEY OUTS: Omair Al Hosani (Dibba Al Fujairah), Salem Saeed (Emirates Club), Saif Mohammed (Al Shaab)
PREDICTION: Continuity has been key for Dhafra, who were the AGL’s success story of 2015/16. Khrbin and Co. can both cement their top-flight status and push for glory in the cup competitions.
DIBBA AL FUJAIRAH
NICKNAME: The Fishermen
COACH: Paulo Sergio
STAR PLAYER: Danilo de Oliveira
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Ahmed ibrahim
2015/16 FINISH: 10th
KEY INS: Nicandro Breeveld (Steaua Bucharest), Danilo de Oliveira (Chiangrai United), Ibrahim Qanber (Al Shaab)
KEY OUTS: Faisel Ahmed (Bani Yas), Tariq Ahmed, Nasser Abdulhadi (both Al Wahda)
PREDICTION: Troubles lies ahead for the club from the east coast. Have lost the coach who kept them up and many star players. Hold a big risk of relegation.
NICKNAME: The Falcons
COACH: Theo Bucker
STAR PLAYER: Sebastian Saez
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Mohammed Saeed
2015/16 FINISH: 12th
KEY INS: Sebastian Saez (Al Wakrah), Augusto Cesar (Internacional), Hocine Ragued (Esperance de Tunis)
KEY OUTS: Mohammad Malalla (Hatta), Brett Holman (released – Brisbane Roar), Alassane Diallo (Al Shaab)
PREDICTION: Bucker will need to repeat his miraculous work from Dibba for his new side to avoid the drop. Saez must also be a success in front of goal.
COACH: Walid Obaid
STAR PLAYER: Issiaka Ouedraogo
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Ali Al Khaja
2015/16 FINISH: Champions, First Division League
KEY INS: Mohammad Malalla (Emirates Club), Adrian Ropotan (Pandurii Targu Jiu), Issiaka Ouedraogo (Wolfsberger)
KEY OUTS: Jair Da Silva, Rodrigo Silva (both released), Tassio Santos (Ajman)
PREDICTION: The Tornado have given themselves hope of staying up with 14 new signings, full of AGL experience. Will be tight, but can do it.
NICKNAME: The Tigers
COACH: Fabio Viviani
STAR PLAYER: Mihai Costea
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Shahin Surour
2015/16 FINISH: Runners-up, First Division League
KEY INS: Shaheen Surour (Al Jazira – loan), Bakari Kone (Wydad Casablanca), Salam Shaker (Al Fateh)
KEY OUTS: Papa Waigo, Kamel Chafni, Carmelo Gonzalez (all released)
PREDICTION: Kalba have bounced between the two divisions since 2009/10 and the signs aren’t good that this manic run is about to end.
NICKNAME: Pride of Abu Dhabi
COACH: Henk ten Cate
STAR PLAYER: Ali Mabkhout
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Khalfan Mubarak
2015/16 FINISH: Seventh
KEY INS: Mbark Boussoufa (free agent – Lokomotiv Moscow), Mohammed Fawzi (Al Ain), Salem Abdulla (Al Wasl)
KEY OUTS: Khalid Sabeal (Al Wasl), Kenwyne Jones (loan expired – Atlanta United)
PREDICTION: Ten Cate secured the President’s Cup last term, but Fawzi’s arrival alone will not fix a problem defence which will impinge any title bid.
NICKNAME: Blue Wave
COACH: Ivan Jovanovic
STAR PLAYER: Jires Kembo Ekoko
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Jassem Yaqoub
2015/16 FINISH: Fourth
KEY INS: Fawaz Awana (Bani Yas), Abdelaziz Barrada (Marseille), Wanderley (Sharjah)
KEY OUTS: Luis Jimenez (Al Arabi), Jamal Ibrahim (Sharjah), Ali Al Ameri (Bani Yas)
PREDICTION: Looked poised to strongly challenge for the title, prior to the Wanderley eligibility farrago. Must retain focus to stay in the mix for silverware.
NICKNAME: The Cheetahs
COACH: Rodolfo Arruabarrena
STAR PLAYER: Fabio De Lima
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Ali Saleh
2015/16 FINISH: Sixth
KEY INS: Ronaldo Mendes (Comercial Vicosa), Humaid Abbas (free agent – Al Ahli), Helder Barbosa (AEK Athens)
KEY OUTS: Hugo Viana (released), Salem Abdulla (Al Jazira), Edgar Bruno (Adanaspor)
PREDICTION: Early signs have been promising under the new boss and with exceptional De Lima in side, Asian qualification is eminently possible
NICKNAME: The Clarets
COACH: Javier Aguirre
STAR PLAYER: Sebastian Tagliabue
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Mohamed Al Akbari
2015/16 FINISH: Third
KEY INS: Tariq Ahmed, Nasser Abdulhadi (both Dibba Al Fujairah), Balazs Dzsudzsak(Bursaspor)
KEY OUTS: Denilson (Cruzeiro – loan), Amer Omar, Abdullah Al Noubi (both Bani Yas)
PREDICTION: If anyone is to break the duopoly of Ahli and Al Ain, it is Aguirre’s men. Their attack is frightening and squad is now full of depth.
NICKNAME: The King
COACH: Giorgos Donis
STAR PLAYER: Gelmin Rivas
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Abdulla Ghanim
2015/16 FINISH: 11th
KEY INS: Gelmin Rivas (Al Ittihad), Digao (Al Hilal), Adrian Mierzejewski (free agent – Al Nassr)
KEY OUTS: Bader Abdulrahman (Hatta), Maicosuel (Atletico Mineiro – loan return), Wanderley (Al Nasr)
PREDICTION: A huge improvement is unavoidable after the excellent work from the summer. Should go from regular relegation contenders to the top six.
NICKNAME: The Hawks
COACH: Fred Rutten
STAR PLAYER: Henrique Luvannor
BRIGHTEST PROSPECT: Mohammad Juma
2015/16 FINISH: Fifth
KEY INS: Ruud Boymans (Utrecht), Tomas De Vincenti (APOEL), Mohammed Ibrahim (Dubai CSC)
KEY OUTS: Carlos Villanueva (Al Ittihad), Juninho Potiguar (Sheriff Tiraspol – loan return)
PREDICTION: Rutten’s track record means a return to the top three cannot be ruled out. Fitness of injury-prone striker Boymans will determine their success.