Saudi Pro League Gameweek 7 Preview

The excitement around the Saudi Pro League continues this week with some interesting matchups on display to keep you entertained. The standout fixture for this week will be when Cristiano Ronaldo’s in form Al-Nassr lock horns with title hopefuls Al-Ahli.

Thursday 21 September

13/20 Al-Taawon | Draw 26/10 | Al-Raed 34/10 (17:00)

Al-Taawon is in good form and are unbeatable at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium. History shows that Al-Taawon have gotten the better of Al-Raed in this fixture and will want to continue with this record. Brazilian attacker Mateus will be eager to add to his two goals for the season so far.

Al-Raed have a poor away record and will need to perform at the highest level if they want to get anything out of this fixture. This will be a true test of determination and character for Al-Raed as they hover just above the relegation zone. Al-Taawon to win on home soil.

8/10 Al-Ittifaq | Draw 24/10 | Al-Tai 29/10 (17:00)

Al-Ittifaq have performed well with Steven Gerrard at the helm and will want to pick up their third consecutive victory. Gerrard and his team will be determined to pick up maximum points after losing their previous three meetings with Al-Tai.

Al-Tai have the better head-to-head record in this fixture which will give them confidence to go all out for the win. Away form has been very poor this campaign and will need to make the most of their chances in front of goal while being defensively sound. Under 2.5 goals and an Al-Ittifaq home win.

12/1 Damak | Draw 6/1 | Al-Hilal 1/6 (17:00)

Damak are one of two teams yet to record a victory this season. This will be a huge test for Cosmin Contra and his team as they look to avoid their third consecutive loss and a first on home soil. The defence will play a huge role on the outcome of this fixture for Damak.

Al-Hilal have shown why they are title favourites by dominating the early stages and still the only team to maintain their unbeaten record. The Riyadh-based side are firing on all cylinders and have picked up maximum points on the road so far. This will be a must win for Jorge Jesus. Al-Hilal to continue their red-hot form, Al-Hilal to win.

6/10 Al-Shabab | Draw 26/10 | Al-Hazm 38/10 (20:00)

Al-Shabab will be desperate to pick up maximum points and record their second victory of the season and a first on their home ground. Al-Shabab have won 13 times in their past 18 meetings with Al-Hazm.

Al-Hazm come into this fixture on a six-game winless streak. This type of form only leads to disaster come the end of the season. I can’t see where Al-Hazm will be getting goals here as they struggle in both areas of the pitch, offensively and defensively. Al-Shabab for the home win.

1/4 Al-Ittihad | Draw 44/10 | Al-Fateh 15/2 (20:00)

Al-Ittihad got back to winning ways after their narrow 1-0 victory against Al-Akhdoud. Nuno Espírito Santo will expect his team to deliver a champions performance on home turf and show their superiority to come away with nothing less than three points.

Al-Fateh come into this fixture as the underdog which could fuel their fire to come out guns blazing and attack the defending champions. Moroccan international Mourad Batna is the top scorer for Al-Fateh with five goals so far and could be the man to cause an upset on the day. Al-Ittihad to win.

Friday 22 September

18/10 Al-Akhdoud | Draw 2/1 | Al-Khaleej 27/20 (17:00)

Al-Akhdoud will come out with a point to prove as they currently on a three-match winless streak at home. Jorge Mendonca will need to come up with a gameplan which best suits their style of play and will need to be clinical in front of goal.

Al-Khaleej have won their previous two meetings with Al-Akhdoud which will draw confidence to attack with purpose. Al-Khaleej will look to control proceedings from the first whistle and go all out to pick up their second win of the campaign. Both teams will look to cancel each other out but I back Al-Khaleej to pick up the win.

1/1 Al-Riyadh | Draw 2/1 | Al-Fayha 2/1 (17:00)

Al-Riyadh will be looking to avoid their fifth consecutive loss when they host Al-Fayha at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium. The Riyadh-based team have conceded 14 goals in their last four fixtures. A huge performance will be needed to come away with all three points for Al-Riyadh.

Al-Fayha are five games since a win and will be determined to pick up their first away victory of the season. Form shows that Al-Fayha is the better team and have the stronger defence which could prove the difference in snatching maximum points on the day. Both teams will play with caution and pounce on errors, back the away win.

9/10 Al-Wehda | Draw 9/4 | Abha 26/10 (20:00)

Al-Wehda have an even record so far this season, three victories and three losses. Having won comfortably in their previous match will allow the team to play with purpose and conviction. Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo will be looking to add to his four goals.

Abha will be low in confidence and belief coming into this fixture after two consecutive defeats. Focusing on the basics and playing to their strengths will be key for Czesław Michniewicz and his team as they try to avoid a third loss in a row. Back the home win.

8/10 Al-Nassr | Draw 5/2 | Al-Ahli 29/10 (20:00)

Al-Nassr have had the upper hand over their opponents in recent times and will be looking to continue with this trend. Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane have been in terrific form leading up to this fixture and will be eager to help the team pick up another win in front of their home faithful.

Al-Ahli have assembled an incredible team for the new campaign and look a serious title contender. The Jeddah-based side have the ability and attacking prowess to kill off any team on the day and will approach the game in the right frame of mind and ready to battle for maximum points. Al-Nassr have the better defence in this fixture and will come away with a narrow victory at home.

Written by Marc Strydom