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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 2
Aug 18, 2023 at 4pm UK
Najran Sport City Center

Al Okhdood
1 - 3
Al Fateh

Tanase (23')
Tanase (9'), Salah Musleh Al Shaikh (29'), Collado (54')
Collado (71')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Batna (36'), Tello (45+2' pen., 90+2')
Al Yousif (45+7')

Preview: Al Okhdood vs. Al Fateh - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Al Okhdood vs. Al Fateh - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Saudi Pro League clash between Al Okhdood and Al Fateh, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Al Okhdood and Al Fateh will both be aiming to win for the first time in the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League season when they meet each other at the Prince Hathloul Stadium on Friday.

Both sides squandered leads to ultimately draw 1-1 on the opening matchday of the new campaign.


Match preview

For Al Okhdood, gaining a point away to one of the Pro League's more established clubs in the form of Al Shabab represented an excellent return in their first match back at this level.

Indeed, Al Shabab finished fourth last season and have won three top-flight titles since the turn of the century, whereas Al Okhdood have regularly bounced between the top two divisions, gaining promotion from the First Division League twice in the last three seasons.

As such, their priority for this season will almost certainly be avoiding relegation, with their new manager Jorge Mendonca embarking on his first role in charge of a club having previously been an assistant at the likes of Reading, Maritimo and Almeria.

The Portuguese will likely be frustrated by his club's modest spending in contrast to other sides in the division, with only Andrei Burca joining for a transfer fee during the window so far. Gaining another point on Friday, then, may be no bad thing while they look to find their feet.

Al Fateh, on the other hand, will sense an opportunity to claim their first victory of the new campaign when they arrive in Najran on Friday, having shared the spoils at home against Al Taawoun on Sunday.

The two sides finished sixth and fifth respectively last season, so it was perhaps no surprise to see them evenly-matched during the encounter at Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium, with Feras Albrikan and Andrei Girotto exchanging strikes during an entertaining first half.

Having attracted former Croatia and West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic as their new manager during the summer, Al Fateh will firmly expect to finish in the top half of the table once again this season, making games against newly-promoted teams all the more important to claim three points from.

However, like their forthcoming opponents, Al Fateh have not spent much money this summer in comparison to some of the Pro League's richer clubs, and expectations may therefore need to be tempered for the 2012-13 double winners.

Al Okhdood Saudi Pro League form:

Al Fateh Saudi Pro League form:


Team News

Mendonca would have been thrilled by his side's performance and result away to Al Shabab on Monday, and barring any fatigue or unreported injuries from the 1-1 draw, he is likely to select the same team once again.

That means another start for Burca, who scored from the penalty spot on his debut for the club, while Alex Collado and Florin Tanase will carry the bulk of the hosts' creative burden.

Al Fateh, meanwhile, will travel without Marwane Saadane due to a hernia, which is likely to keep the defender out of action until early September.

Bilic handed debuts to new signings Jason Denayer and Lucas Zelarayan for his side's 1-1 draw against Al-Taawoun on Sunday, and he is unlikely to make many changes given the amount of rest time that his team have had.


Al Okhdood possible starting lineup:
Vitor; Al-Zabdani, Kvirkvelia, Burca, Khamis; Collado, Pedroza, Al-Muwallad, Al-Shaekh; Tanase, M

Al Fateh possible starting lineup:
Rinne; Al-Zubaidi, Alawjami, Denayer, Al-Yousef; Bendebka, Petros; Batna, Zelarayan, Tello; Al-Buraikan


We say: Al Okhdood 1-1 Al Fateh

Al Okhdood proved their worthiness of being at this level by claiming an impressive point away to Al Shabab on the opening matchday, and we can envisage them doing the same against Al Fateh on Friday.

There is little doubt that the visitors possess more pedigree in terms of their playing and coaching staff, but the hosts will be desperate to avoid defeat in their first home game of the season following their promotion.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CAl-HilalAl-Hilal343130101237896
2Al-Nassr342644100425882
3Al-AhliAl-Ahli34198767353265
4Al-TaawounAl-Taawoun341611751351659
5Al Ittihad34166126354954
6Al Ettifaq341212104334948
7Al Fateh34129135755245
8Al ShababAl Shabab34128144542344
9Al Fayha341111124452-844
10Damac341011134445-141
11Al RaedAl Raed34910154149-837
12Al Khaleej34910153647-1137
13Al WahdaAl Wahda34106184560-1536
14Al Riyadh34811153357-2435
15Al Okhdood3496193352-1933
RAbha3495203887-4932
RAl Tai3487193464-3031
RAl Hazem34412183476-4224
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