Cosmin Olaroiu is convinced his strengthening side now possess the power to deliver a knockout blow to fellow Arabian Gulf League title chasers Al Wahda.
Olaroiu, 48, welcomes fellow Romanian Laurentiu Reghecampf to Rashid Stadium Friday when fourth hosts second.
This intriguing clash is packed full of fearsome attackers and belligerent defenders, with the allure of striking an early blow in the battle for silverware in their minds.
“The game against Al Wahda is very difficult and very important,” said Olaroiu, whose side are rebounding after a goalless draw at bottom-placed Sharjah last week.
“Our team has become more powerful, our level is increasing from one game to the next.”
Meanwhile, Al Jazira boss Henk ten Cate has admitted he’s spoiled for choice as the flailing champions look to make up ground away at Hatta.
A depleted Pride of Abu Dhabi drew 0-0 with fast-starting Al Wasl last Friday. This picture has changed for tonight’s clash, France anchorman Lassana Diarra plus UAE creative hope Khalfan Mubarak among those returning to training this week.
Ten Cate said: “I have a problem with the selection of the players because of the abundance of options. In any case, I put my full confidence in the ability of all players.”
Wasl supremo Rodolfo Arruabarrena wants to end talk of his charges being a one-man team when they welcome Dibba Al Fujairah Thursday.
A quiet night for six-goal forward Fabio De Lima played a big part in the preceding draw at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
Arruabarrena said. “We are a single team and we do not rely on a single star because the team of one player does not achieve anything in football.”