Pedro Emanuel and Al Ain face a possible last stand against leaders Sharjah

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  • (UAE Pro League)

    The pressure is on for embattled Al Ain coach Pedro Emanuel when his charges visit leaders Sharjah in the Arabian Gulf League.

    The depleted Boss were battered 4-1 by resurgent Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club in match-week 15, a result which pushed them down to a distant sixth and intensified debate about the former Porto defender’s future. Hope will abound about a possible, belated, debut for headline winter addition Shoya Nakajima.

    Saturday’s opponents witnessed momentum checked last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Al Wahda and will be determined to get back to winning ways now their advantage has been cut to three points.

    Fifth-placed Shabab Al Ahli’s cause was boosted in mid-week by the addition of 2016 AFC Player of the Year Omar Abdulrahman on a free transfer. But the celebrated 29-year-old is not expected to be fit to continue their seven-match winning run, in all competitions, at seventh-placed Wahda.

    The day’s other games contain a basement clash between Hatta and Ajman, plus third-placed Bani Yas travelling to mid-table Khor Fakkan.

    A Bur Dubai derby between Al Nasr and Al Wasl leads the way on Sunday, UAE icon Ali Mabkhout is fresh off a hat-trick for the trip to Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finalists Ittihad Kalba and second-bottom Fujairah could escape the relegation zone with victory against an Al Dhafra who’ll be without suspended returning club legend Makhete Diop and goalkeeper Khalid Al Senani.



    17:30 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club v Al Wahda

    17:30 Khor Fakkan v Bani Yas

    20:15 Hatta v Ajman

    20:15 Sharjah v Al Ain


    17:30 Ittihad Kalba v Al Jazira

    17:30 Fujairah v Al Dhafra

    20:15 Al Nasr v Al Wasl