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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 29
Apr 26, 2024 at 4pm UK
Kingdom Arena

3 - 1
Al Fateh

Michael (58'), Neves (74' pen.), Albulayhi (90+15')
Michael (33'), Al-Dawsari (36')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Zelarayan (57')
Bilic (34'), Baattia (38'), Tello (72'), Zelarayan (73')

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

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

Al-Hilal will continue their push to claim what would be a record-extending 19th Saudi Pro League title when they take on Al Fateh at the Kingdom Arena on Friday afternoon.

The hosts are nine points clear at the top of the league standings after 27 games, while the visitors are in sixth place with 40 points earned after 28 games.

Match preview

April has been a month of mixed emotions for Al Hilal, which began when they secured their first piece of major silverware of the season, beating Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad to lift the Super Cup.

However, the euphoria of that victory was short-lived, as they saw their world-record 34-match winning streak brought to an end six days later by Al-Ain in the AFC Champions League before bowing out of the competition in midweek. The four-time continental champions won 2-1 in Riyadh but were unable to overturn the 4-2 deficit from the first leg.

Ruben Neves slotted away a penalty after Kouame Kouadio fouled Brazilian forward Michael, but his goal was cancelled out by Erik eight minutes later. Shortly after halftime, Asian Player of the Year Salem Al-Dawsari got Al-Hilal back in the tie, but the UAE Pro League outfit held firm to progress 5-4 on aggregate.

The Blue Waves will now return to their quest of claiming the domestic treble and can pull 12 points clear atop the league standings with a win here before taking aim at Nadi Al-Sha'ab in the King's Cup semi-final on Tuesday night.

With the second-leg win over Al-Ain, Jorge Jesus's side also extended their incredible home record to 19 wins in a row, and they have only failed to score two or more goals in a match once during that period.

Meanwhile, Al Fateh are enjoying another solid season in the top flight, though with the mid-table still being very tightly compact, a loss this week could see them drop to eighth place if Al Ettifaq and Damac win their gameweek 29 fixtures.

Al Namothji head to the nation's capital in mixed form, with the 3-1 home win over Al Raed last weekend being just their third victory in 10 Saudi Pro League matches, and that followed a very disappointing loss to relegation candidates Abha a week earlier.

Against RAE, Cape Verdean striker Djaniny impressed, scoring either side of Lucas Zelarayan's 12th-minute goal, though the former Trabzonspor man could have bagged a hat-trick had he not missed a penalty inside the opening half-hour of the match.

However, Slaven Bilic will now need to find a way of getting his side to perform at the same level on the road, where they have failed to keep a clean sheet all season and have only managed one win in their last four games (W1 D1 L2).

Al-Hilal Saudi Pro League form:

Al Fateh Saudi Pro League form:

Team News

Aleksander Mitrovic has now missed the last six matches for the Blue Waves with a hamstring injury; therefore, one of Saleh Alshehri or Abdullah Al-Hamdan should lead the line this week.

Reports suggest that Neymar is nearing the final stages of his recovery from a torn cruciate ligament injury sustained in October. The Brazilian star has only played five matches for Al Hilal since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain.

Forward Mourad Batna picked up a knock in Al Fateh's 2-1 loss to Abha and was left out of the squad last week; the Moroccan's fitness will be assessed ahead of this weekend's trip to Riyadh.

Djaniny will almost certainly return to lead the attack after netting a brace last week, while Zelarayan, Othman Al-Othman and former Barcelona winger Cristian Tello are likely to make up the attacking midfield trio.

Al-Hilal possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Abdulhamid, Koulibaly, Al Bulaihi, Al-Shahrani; Neves, Milinkovic-Savic; Michael, Malcom, Al-Dawsari; Al-Hamdan

Al Fateh possible starting lineup:
Rinne; Baattia, Alawjami, Saadane, Buhimed; Bendebka, Ali; Al-Othman, Zelarayan, Tello; Djaniny

We say: Al-Hilal 2-1 Al Fateh

Al-Hilal will be looking to bounce straight back from their AFC Champions League disappointment in this match and will know that regaining momentum will be crucial leading up to their King's Cup semi-final next week. Al Fateh are never an easy team to face, but we fancy the Blue Waves to grind out a result in this one.

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

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Premier League Table
5Al Ittihad34166126354954
6Al Ettifaq341212104334948
7Al Fateh34129135755245
8Al ShababAl Shabab34128144542344
9Al Fayha341111124452-844
11Al RaedAl Raed34910154149-837
12Al Khaleej34910153647-1137
13Al WahdaAl Wahda34106184560-1536
14Al Riyadh34811153357-2435
15Al Okhdood3496193352-1933
17Al Tai3487193464-3031
18Al Hazem34412183476-4224
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