The leaders Al-Ittihad is looking to overtake its defending rival, Al-Hilal, to get closer to the Saudi Football League title, when they meet on Tuesday at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh in a match postponed from the twelfth stage.
Al-Ittihad, the eight-time title holder against Al-Hilal’s 17 titles, is on top with 54 points from 22 matches, while Al-Hilal is fourth with 40 points, knowing that it has two matches postponed.
The match holds great importance for both teams, as Al Hilal’s victory will give him an additional dose of confidence and bring him closer to the top of the standings, especially if he manages to win his two postponed matches against Al-Fayhaa and Al-Ittifaq, while Al-Ittihad’s victory will put him a few steps away from crowning the title he achieved for the last time in 2009. .
Al-Ittihad is progressing at a steady pace, as it did not waste in its last 13 matches only two points after its draw with Al-Taawon, while the victory was its share in all other matches.
(Al-Ittihad) hopes to continue its strong performances and get closer to crowning the title, especially since its victory over Al-Hilal will widen the difference between it and its closest pursuers (Al-Shabab) to 11 points, seven stages before the end of the league.
Al-Ittihad is missing in the expected El Clasico a number of its key players, most notably its new Moroccan scorer Abdel Razzaq Hamdallah and its defender Omar Hawsawi due to injury and Abdel Rahman Al-Aboud due to suspension, to join the Brazilian Igor Coronado and the Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazy, who have been continuing their treatment program for some time.
Hamdallah has made an impressive performance since his move during the winter transfer period after wearing the colors of victory, as he scored 7 goals in 5 matches, including a hat-trick against Al-Ahly in the Jeddah derby.
Despite these absences from the Romanian coach Cosmin Contra’s squad, the leaders can count on distinguished players such as the Brazilian trio Marcelo Grohe, Bruno Henrique, Romarinho, Abdulaziz Al-Bishi, Fahd Al-Muwallad and Muhannad Al-Shanqiti.
On the other hand, Al Hilal sacked its Portuguese coach, Leonardo Jardim, due to the decline in his results and a heavy loss against Al-Ahly of Egypt in the Club World Cup, and replaced him with the returning Argentine Ramon Dias, which reflected positively on the results.
Al-Hilal, led by Dias, succeeded in achieving three consecutive victories in the league at the expense of Al-Shabab and Al-Hazm, and its rival Al-Nassr witnessed the brilliance of its international striker Salem Al-Dosari.
He aspires to continue this series and maintain his hopes of retaining the title, especially since he is currently considered to be in his best technical and moral condition, despite the absence of some of his players in the past matches due to injury.
Al Hilal is counting on a constellation of stars, led by the top scorer in the Nigerian league, Odion Ighalo (15), Peruvian Andy Carrillo, Brazilian Matthews Pereira, Salem Al-Dosari, Salman Al-Faraj, Muhammad Kno and Yasser Al-Shahrani.
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