In their final fixture of 2023, Al Ettifaq is set to clash against bottom-placed Al Hazem on Thursday at the Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium in the Saudi Pro League’s matchday 19.
Al Ettifaq is coming off an unfortunate 3-1 defeat against Al-Nassr, extending their winless streak to eight matches across all competitions.
Conversely, Al Hazem suffered a resounding 4-0 home loss to Al-Ahli Saudi, leaving them four points adrift from safety.
Al Ettifaq has been struggling to secure wins, having not won in their last seven league matches. Manager Steven Gerrard is aiming to bolster the team’s squad in the upcoming January transfer window to strengthen their performances.
Although Al Ettifaq has shown improvement in the league compared to the previous season, scoring goals has been an issue lately, managing only two goals in their last eight competitive games.
On the other hand, Al Hazem faced a downturn after an initial win against Al Fateh in December. They’ve conceded most of their goals while playing at home and have struggled to maintain leads in the second half of matches.
Al Ettifaq has historically performed better against Al Hazem, winning their last three encounters.
However, Al Hazem has shown resilience away from home and managed to secure victories against Al Ettifaq in the past.
Al Ettifaq might have Ahmed Al-Ghamdi back after an early injury substitution in the previous match.
They’ll miss the services of Demarai Gray due to suspension and Vitinho due to injury. Moussa Dembele, their top scorer, will be eager to get back on the scoresheet after a goal drought.
Al Hazem might see changes in their lineup, with Aymen Dahmen having conceded goals in the last few games. Faiz Selemani has been a notable goal threat for them and could feature prominently in the starting XI.
Al Ettifaq: (4-1-4-1)
Al-Otaibi, Tisserand, Hendry, Al-Khateeb;
Quaison, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Al-Kuwaykibi;
Al Hazem: (4-4-2)
Al-Bakr, Ricardo, Viana, Al-Aazmi;
Al-Thani, Abousaban, Traore, Toze;
Prediction: Al Ettifaq 3-0 Al Hazem
Al Ettifaq, facing a defensively weak Al Hazem, might capitalize on this opportunity to regain confidence. The home team’s experience and quality could pave the way for a convincing victory in this encounter.