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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 19
Dec 28, 2023 at 3pm UK
Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium

Al Ettifaq
1 - 1
Al Hazem

Gray (70')
(85')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Toze (90+1' pen.)
Viana (84')

Preview: Al Ettifaq vs. Al Hazem - prediction, team news, lineups

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

In their final domestic encounter of 2023, Al Ettifaq host last-place Al Hazem on Thursday at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium on matchday 19 of the Saudi Pro League campaign for each side.

Last Friday, the club from Dammam were beaten 3-1 by Al-Nassr, extending their winless run to eight matches in all competitions, while Al Hazem lost 4-0 at home to Al-Ahli Saudi, putting them four points behind the relegation line.


Match preview

Another slow start was too much for the Commandos to overcome on Friday, failing to win for the seventh successive time in this competition, one short of their longest winless run in league play since the 2021-22 campaign.

At the top of the Christmas wish list for manager Steven Gerrard is for the club to sign some new players in the January transfer window, with the former Aston Villa boss saying they must show "we mean business".

Until then, the next best thing for the former Liverpool midfielder would be to get his team to improve their quality in front of goal, with his side scoring just twice in their previous eight competitive fixtures.

While they are in a slump, Al Ettifaq are doing better in the table than a season ago, claiming 24 points after 18 domestic encounters thus far, five more than they had at this stage of the 2022-23 season.

To this point of the campaign, Al Ettifaq seem to be stronger playing from behind at home as opposed to being in front, claiming seven points when conceding the opening goal at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium while dropping five points when leading at the half on their home field.

They have triumphed in their last three domestic encounters versus Al Hazem, with their last defeat against them occurring on their home ground in 2019-20 (3-2).

After a promising start to December for Al Hazem, defeating Al Fateh 2-0, the wheels fell off on Friday as the home team fell behind in the latter stages of the first half before falling apart in the final 45 minutes.

Playing away from home may be the best thing for this team, with more than half of their goals conceded domestically this season (29/46) occurring in Rass, though their only two campaign victories thus far have occurred at home.

Although they have conceded a combined 26 goals in their last 10 competitive fixtures, Jose Daniel Carreno has also seen his side find the back of the net in all but two games since taking charge.

They have only lost consecutive games once since the Uruguayan became the new boss after failing to win any of their first nine league fixtures under former manager Filipe Gouveia.

Since the start of November, they have had difficulty hanging onto second-half advantages, dropping five points from winning positions when ahead in the final 45 minutes.

Their only four triumphs against Al Ettifaq have occurred away from home, with Al Hazem netting three times in each of those victories.

Al Ettifaq Saudi Pro League form:

Al Hazem Saudi Pro League form:


Team News

Ahmed Al-Ghamdi suffered a blow to the head in the opening few minutes of the Al Ettifaq encounter with Al-Nassr as Hamed Al-Ghamdi replaced him.

Demarai Gray has not featured in his last two games since being red-carded in their 0-0 draw with Al-Shabab, while Vitinho remains sidelined after suffering a tendon injury near the end of August.

Mohammed Al-Kuwaykibi notched his first of the campaign in their defeat to Al-Nassr, while their leading scorer, Moussa Dembele (seven), has not found the back of the net since notching their only goal in a 2-1 defeat to Al-Fateh on October 5.

Two changes were made to the Al Hazem starting 11 from matchday 17 to 18 as Benjamin Traore and Muhammed Badamosi entered the lineup in place of Ahmed Al-M'hemaid and Vina.

Since posting a clean sheet at the beginning of December, Aymen Dahmen has conceded five goals in his last two games, four in the second half.

In their previous away game, a 64th-minute strike from Faiz Selemani enabled them to play Abha to a 1-1 draw, putting the Comoros international one back of Toze for the team lead in goals with four.

Al Ettifaq possible starting lineup:
Victor; Al-Otaibi, Tisserand, Hendry, Al-Khateeb; Al-Ghamdi; Quaison, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Al-Kuwaykibi; Dembele

Al Hazem possible starting lineup:
Dahmen; Al-Bakr, Ricardo, Viana, Al-Aazmi; Al-Thani, Abousaban, Traore, Toze; Badamosi, Selemani


We say: Al Ettifaq 3-0 Al Hazem

Playing a team as poor defensively as Al Hazem may be exactly what Al Ettifaq need to regain their confidence, and we believe the big-game experience of the home team will find a way through the visitors in this encounter.



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 under 3.5 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.Under 3.5: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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