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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 33
May 23, 2024 at 7pm UK
Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium

Al Ettifaq
1 - 0
Al Shabab

Medran (39')
Wijnaldum (90+15')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Saiss (71'), Al-Harbi (90+4'), Santos (90+5')

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

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

The penultimate Saudi Pro League round of the 2023-24 season sees Al Ettifaq welcome Al Shabab to the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Stadium on Thursday.

Steven Gerrard's men are ending the campaign somewhat positively after a troubling start, and they seek a positive result in their final home game of the season against a side on a losing run.


Match preview

Fans of Al Ettifaq may wonder what might have been had they avoided the extended slump between September and December in the soon-to-be-completed season, with a continental qualification out of reach.

A three-match winning run in September was followed by one victory in 12 league games, effectively ruling out a top-four berth.

Faris Ad-Dahna have won five games in 2024, losing just three times compared to six before the turn of the year, pointing to some improvement by the sixth-placed side.

However, the tendency to play out stalemates has undermined their prospects of a top-four finish, as they sit 10 points shy of Al-Taawoun.

While they have suffered one defeat in the last month — a 2-1 home loss against Al Fayha — three draws in six league matches have not helped their cause despite the uptick in 2024 results.

Gerrard's team seek to end their home games on a positive note against an Al Shabab side that have been defeated in back-to-back league fixtures, losing to Al-Ahli (2-1) and Al-Taawoun (1-0).

Consecutive defeats have followed Al Leith's five-match undefeated sequence (one draw), suggesting a dip in motivation for Vitor Pereira's team who have little to play for.

The Riyadh-based club are not in relegation danger — the ninth-placed side sit 10 points clear of the bottom three — and are too far behind notching a continental place.

Regardless of the last road loss at Al-Taawoun, Pereira's men were undefeated in five consecutive away matches, but their motivation will be tested in the penultimate round.

Pivotal to that run was a four-match streak without conceding, and it remains to be seen if the capital club are as watertight on Thursday.

Al Ettifaq Saudi Pro League form:

Al Shabab Saudi Pro League form:


Team News

Gerrard is not expected to have Demarai Gray (shoulder) available for gameweek 33's clash, having missed the 1-1 draw with Al-Okhdood. Moussa Dembele was replaced after 10 minutes in the previous game, making the centre-forward's participation on Thursday uncertain.

Mohammed Yousef was sent off after 16 minutes last time out, ruling out the right-back against Al Shabab.

Pereira is still without long-term absentees Seung-gyu Kim and Abdullah Al-Jawaey (both knee), while Hattan Bahebri has battled muscle issues since mid-March.

Yannick Carrasco (13 goals plus assists) has been involved in six goals (four goals, two assists) in his last five league appearances, and he seeks to flourish after a four-game sequence of scoring or assisting ended in Al Shabab's recent loss at Al-Taawoun.

Ivan Rakitic returned last time out after missing six matches but may be eased back in after featuring for 28 minutes in the previous weekend.


Al Ettifaq possible starting lineup:
Victor; Al-Oteibi, Hendry, Madu, Khateeb; Fofana, Medran, Wijnaldum; Toko Ekambi, Khaibri, Camara

Al Shabab possible starting lineup:
Malaika; Sharari, Santos, Saiss; Al Yami, Ajuwayr, Cuellar, Al-Harbi; Al-Monassar, Carrasco; Diallo


We say: Al Ettifaq 1-1 Al Shabab

While Al Ettifaq were beaten at home at the start of May, the broader results on their turf have been wins (two) or draws (three), pointing to the spoils being shared against a side that have been strong on their travels until the recent defeat by Al-Taawoun.


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


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