Saudi Pro League Gameweek 13 Preview

The Saudi Pro League is slowly approaching the halfway mark of the season and Al-Hilal are showing strong signs to be the number one contender to lift the title.

Thursday 9 November

19/20 Al-Khaleej | Draw 22/10 | Al-Tai 26/10 (17:00)

Al-Khaleej are looking to bounce back after facing defeat to Al-Nassr last time out. They remain winless in their last five fixtures and if they hope to stay out of the relegation zone, this is a must win. Al-Tai could not hold on to their 3-1 lead in their previous game and conceded two late second half goals to draw the game 3-3 in the end. Game management will play a huge role in getting the three points on the day for Al-Tai. I back the home win here despite the recent poor form.

13/5 Al-Raed | Draw 11/4 | Al-Shabab 17/20 (17:00)

Al-Raed put up a huge fight in their previous game and picked up a much-needed point. They still sit in last place after 12 games and desperate for a victory. Al-Shabab pulled off the biggest upset and their most important victory thus far, defeating defending champions Al-Ittihad 1-0 at home. Confidence and belief will be flowing through the team and will have their sights firmly on the three points. Al-Shabab to win with over 2.5 goals.

38/10 Damak | Draw 3/1 | Al-Ahli 11/20 (20:00)

Damak are at home and welcome Al-Ahli after a goalless draw away to Al-Taawon previously. The Knights of The South have not lost at home since the start of the campaign and will need a strong collective performance on the day to put Al-Ahli to the sword. Al-Ahli comfortably cruised to a 3-0 victory over Al-Riyadh previously after two consecutive defeats. The star-studded Jeddah giants are up to fourth on the log standings and if they get an early start to the game and control proceedings, this could be a long evening for Damak. Al-Ahli for the win.

7/2 Al-Riyadh | Draw 26/10 | Al-Fateh 13/20 (20:00)

Al-Riyadh fall down to 14th place after a 3-0 loss making it back-to-back defeats. Saleh Al Abbas the clubs leading goal scorer will need to bring his A-game on the day if they look to get back on track and snatch the win on home soil. A four-game winning streak came to an end after Al-Fateh lost 2-0 to leaders Al-Hilal last time out. The loss won’t be a major setback for Slaven Bilic and his team but will be extra motivated to get back to winning ways. Cristian Tello and Mourad Batna will be key to their success here. Al-Fateh are the better team here and will grind out the victory, Al-Fateh to win.

Friday 10 November

2/7 Al-Hilal | Draw 44/10 | Al-Taawon 15/2 (17:00)

Al-Hilal maintains top spot and with a 2-0 victory previously opens a four-gap lead at the summit. They are the only team to avoid defeat thus far with 10 wins and two draws. They will look to dominate the game and dictate the play with the three points being the objective of the day. Al-Taawon have now picked up three consecutive draws after their goalless draw with Damak. Playing away to the leaders will require a clear game plan and will need to make the most of their chances in the final third if they look to get a positive result here. Back the home victory here.

2/9 Al-Ittihad | Draw 48/10 | Abha 9/1 (20:00)

The defending champions have found themselves in a difficult run of form and are winless in their last five fixtures in the league. A huge performance will be needed on the day as they look to rectify their mistakes and surprisingly record their third victory at home this season. Abha came from behind to win 3-2 against Al-Akhdoud, picking up their fourth victory of the season. They come into this fixture full of confidence after two consecutive victories and will fancy their chances against a misfiring Al-Ittihad. Interesting encounter but I see Al-Ittihad snatching the win here.

Saturday 11 November

39/20 Al-Fayha | Draw 21/10 | Al-Ittifaq 12/10 (17:00)

Al-Fayha put in a strong second half performance to come from behind and took away a point from their 3-3 draw with Al-Tai. The Mills of Sudair having home ground advantage will allow them to play on the front foot as they look to pick up their first win at home this season. Al-Ittifaq controlled large parts of their game with Al-Raed but could not capitalize on their chances and had to settle for a point a piece. They will need to approach the game with more hunger and focus on the day if they look to walk away with maximum points. Al-Ittifaq to make it back-to-back victories on the road.

31/20 Al-Akhdoud | Draw 2/1 | Al-Hazm 31/20 (17:00)

This fixture is more than just the three points on offer but a chance to move out of the relegation zone. Both teams come into this fixture level on points (7) and on the back of defeat. Al-Akhdoud have been poor at home this season, losing all five fixtures scoring one goal and conceding eight across these five fixtures. Al-Hazm has been the better team in the last five fixtures between the two and will look to put in a performance worthy of three points. Al-Hazm for the victory.

42/10 Al-Wehda | Draw 34/10 | Al-Nassr 9/20 (20:00)

Al-Wehda host one of the hottest teams in the league and will need a huge performance to come away victorious. Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo will need to roll back the years and help his team to victory. Al-Nassr have picked up five victories from their last five fixtures. Cristiano Ronaldo has been on fire for the Riyadh giants and will look to add more goals to his tally. This is a must win for Al-Nassr as they stay in touching distance of leaders Al-Hilal. Al-Nassr to win and keep their unbeaten record away from home alive.

Written by Marc Strydom