UAE clubs battle for shots at glory in the President's Cup and Arabian Gulf Cup

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(Twitter/@SharjahFC).

PRESIDENT’S CUP: Berths in UAE football’s most-prestigious match are up for grabs during Saturday’s President’s Cup semi-finals.

Surprise undefeated Arabian Gulf League pacesetters Sharjah face mid-table Al Dhafra at Bani Yas Stadium (17:45 KO) to kick-off the doubleheader. The other side of the draw has pitted shock strugglers Al Wasl against resurgent Arabian Gulf Cup finalists Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club at Al Nasr’s revamped Al Maktoum Stadium (20:45 KO).

For Sharjah, they now appear certainties to end a 16-year trophy drought at some point this term.

Wasl’s clash with Shabab Al Ahli turns the spotlight on coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena. The ex-Argentina left-back led Wasl to two-successive top-three finishes in the AGL prior to last summer’s surprise exit, while October’s arrival at Shabab Al Ahli reinvigorated an ailing campaign.

AG CUP: Abu Dhabi rivals Al Wahda and Bani Yas are set to meet on Friday (20:15 KO) to scrap for a spot in the Arabian Gulf Cup final against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.

The weekend’s hosts at Al Nahyan Stadium have roared into the last-four, in contrast to their sketchy form in the Arabian Gulf League. Points were only dropped in the group stage against their imminent last-four opponents and Emirates Club were then thrashed 5-0 in the quarter-finals, plus they should be full of confidence thanks to Monday’s much-needed 4-1 thrashing of Saudi Arabian giants Al Ittihad in the 2019 AFC Champions League.

For the promoted Sky Blues, victory would represent another high point during an excellent top- flight return.  They currently sit sixth, level on points with Wahda who were runners-up last term.

In the AG Cup, they ended up third in Group A and beat Al Ain in the quarters.

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