Champions Sharjah headline Tuesday's Arabian Gulf League return after month away

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(Twitter/@SharjahFC).

The Arabian Gulf League returns with a bang on Tuesday after more than a month away

An extended hiatus was decided upon for the UAE’s top flight once the national side accepted a late, second invitation to compete at the 24th Gulf Cup – won on Sunday evening by Bahrain.

With this tournament following on from last month’s usual international break, a much-changed fixture list saw play restricted, instead, to the Arabian Gulf Cup.

A trio of enticing fixtures await when round eight kicks off. Champions Sharjah will hope to maintain the division’s only unbeaten start against Bani Yas, while at the opposite end of the table Ittihad Kalba host Ajman and Khor Fakkan welcome Al Dhafra.

“We return after a long pause of the league matches,” said King boss Abdulaziz Al Anbari, who witnessed his title chasers go down 2-1 to Al Ain in Friday’s AG Cup quarter-finals. “Our preparations have been short after the Al Ain match.

“I hope all players are ready for the match. We have to get used to the pressure of matches, because this is what we will face in the next stage.

“We have a good group of players and we will give opportunities to the most prepared.”

Extended time on the training pitch has been embrace by Kalba tactician Jorge Da Silva.

The Tigers did not make the Cup knockouts and resume in the AGL outside of the drop zone only because of a superior head-to-head record versus Fujairah.

“It was a very good week for training and preparing for the Ajman match,” said the ex-Uruguay striker.

“We know that the Ajman team was not in a good position during the last games, but they have the desire to return.”

Promoted Khor Fakkan are the only AGL outfit yet to win, while Dhafra have lost their last six games in all competitions.

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