What to look out for in Roshn Saudi League’s matchweek 15
An intriguing matchweek 15 awaits in Roshn Saudi League, from Thursday.
Key details for all seven fixtures – Al Raed v Al Hilal was pulled forward because of the latter’s imminent FIFA Club World Cup-commitments – are below:
ABHA V AL KHALEEJ
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Eight-placed Abha previously suffered narrow defeat at holders Al Hilal and this is testament to their redoubtable displays.
Mid-season coaching recruit Roel Coumans has tightened them up – they have lost three of their previous four games, but only by a one-goal margin. In Tunisia playmaker Saad Bguir, they possess an explosive attacker.
Promoted Al Khaleej boast a 100-per-cent record in 2023 and claimed multiple Monthly January Awards.
Winter arrival Fabio Martins – previously on loan at Al Shabab from Braga in 2020/21 – has been inspirational. He’s helped fire them out of the drop zone and into 14th.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Abha are yet to draw since December’s restart (three wins, three losses), while Al Khaleej have won all three top-flight matches in 2023.
WHEN: 16:00 KSA; Thursday, February 2, 2023
WHERE: Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium, Abha
AL BATIN V AL TAAWOUN
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: A new-look Al Batin are coming together after a busy winter transfer window.
The bottom-placed club were only beaten once in January. A pair of spot-kicks were decisive then, from heavyweights Al Ittihad.
Fifth-placed Al Taawoun have looked to midfielders Alvaro Medran and Kaku to fuel a push towards the summit.
Kaku heads the assist chart with seven and Medran’s exceptional form has led to a contract extension.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Al Batin have drawn two of their last three matches. Al Taawoun have taken seven points from the last-available 12.
WHEN: 18:00 KSA; Thursday, February 2, 2023
WHERE: Al Batin FC Stadium, Hafar Al Batin
AL SHABAB V DAMAC
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Third-placed Al Shabab will be eager to build on last week’s return to winning ways.
A 2-1 victory at Al Tai owed much to Carlos Jr’s eighth and ninth top-flight goals of a prolific campaign.
Seventh-placed Damac arrive after an eventful inauguration of their new ground.
A 3-1, come-from-behind triumph was secured against Al Fateh with a trio of goals past the 72-minute mark.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Al Shabab had drawn their previous three games before meeting Al Tai, while Damac ended a five-match winless top-flight run last-time out.
WHEN: 18:00 KSA; Thursday, February 2, 2023
WHERE: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh
AL FATEH V AL NASSR
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Portugal megastar Cristiano Ronaldo should get a second taste of Roshn Saudi League-action when his first-placed Al Nassr head to Al Fateh.
Sixth-placed Al Fateh’s winter addition, Cristian Tello, has been put through his paces in training. Algeria midfielder Sofiane Bendebka has the joint-second-most assists this term, with five.
Ronaldo will be looking to build on a winning league start for Al Nassr, against Ettifaq. Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez could return to top-flight action.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Al Fateh have taken six points from the previous nine. Last month’s 0-0 draw at Al Shabab ended Al Nassr’s four-match away winning run in the league.
WHEN: 18:00 KSA; Friday, February 3, 2023
WHERE: Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sports City Stadium, Al Ahsa
ETTIFAQ V AL ADALAH
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Ettifaq have welcomed Turkey midfielder Berat Ozdemir back to training, after injury.
He could return for a 10th-placed Ettifaq who have won their last two top-flight home matches.
15th-placed Al Adalah were busy in the final days of the winter transfer market. These additions include Portuguese winger Pedro Eugenio, Slovakian defender Boris Godal and Swedish striker Marcus Antonsson.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Ettifaq have lost their last two league games, but they were away. Improving Al Adalah have lost just once in their last four matches.
WHEN: 20:30 KSA; Friday, February 3, 2023
WHERE: Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium, Dammam
AL TAI V AL ITTIHAD
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Mirel Radoi will oversee his second match in charge of ninth-placed Al Tai when they welcome Al Ittihad.
The ex-Al Hilal midfielder debuted with a 2-1 loss versus Al Shabab.
Fourth-placed Al Ittihad should be full of confidence after their Saudi Super Cup-triumph. Morocco striker Abderrazak Hamdallah is closing on a century of Roshn Saudi League goals, with 98 from 99 matches.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Al Tai have lost their last four top-flight fixtures. Al Ittihad have won their last four games, in all competitions.
WHEN: 16:00 KSA; Saturday, February 4, 2023
WHERE: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa’ed Stadium, Ha’il
AL FAYHA V AL WEHDA
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Al Fayha will aim to rebound after final defeat in the Saudi Super Cup.
The 13th-placed side have, though, only lost once in their last six top-flight outings.
12th-placed Al Wehda boast one of the division’s most-productive attacking outlets, in Morocco midfielder Faycal Fajr. He has produced 120 crosses, 29 more than anyone else.
CURRENT ROSHN SAUDI LEAGUE FORM: Al Fayha have lost just once in their last six top-flight games. Al Wehda are yet to win on the road this season.
WHEN: 18:00 KSA; Saturday, February 3, 2023
WHERE: Al Majma’ah Sports City Stadium, Al Majma’ah