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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 23
Mar 8, 2024 at 5pm UK
King Abdullah Sports City

Al Ittihad
2 - 1
Al Okhdood

Al Mousa (45'), Haji (83')
Felipe (28'), Kante (60')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Collado (63')
Pedroza (70')

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

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

Al Ittihad will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in the Saudi Pro League when they play host to Al Okhdood at Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The defending champions will head into this game in fifth place with 37 points, while the visitors are 13th in the league standings with 23 points after 22 matches this season.

Match preview

With 36 points to play for between now and the end of the season, it is almost certain that Al Ittihad will not defend their league title this term, as following their 3-1 defeat to Al Hilal last week, they are now 25 points behind the runaway league leaders.

Following last week's league defeat, Al-Numoor suffered another blow in their quest for silverware this season on Tuesday night, losing 2-0 in the first leg of their AFC Champions League tie to the Blue Waves.

With a record of four wins, one draw and three losses since taking over from Nuno Espirito Santo, the pressure will be building on Marcelo Gallardo to find a run of good results, and he will be looking for a positive performance from his side here ahead of a few favourable league fixtures.

This season at Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Al Ittihad have managed six wins, one draw, and suffered four losses in 11 Saudi League matches, although three of those were against the sides that currently hold the top three places in the league standings.

Nadi Al-Sha'ab won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in September last year thanks to a second-half goal by Karim Benzema and they are the clear favourites in this one, according to the bookmakers.

Meanwhile, newly promoted Al Okhdood would have been relatively pleased with their output over the first half of the season and head into gameweek 23 five points clear of Al Tai, who are the first side below the dotted line.

Much of their joy can be attributed to the introduction of Martin Sevela, who made a very positive start to his tenure as manager, securing three wins and a draw in his first four matches since joining midway through November.

However, following an against-the-odds 3-2 victory in their first match after the international break against Al Ahli, the new manager will now be hoping to avoid a third straight league defeat, having lost the last two games 3-1 to Al Taawoun and 2-1 to Al Riyadh last week.

Their underdog status here is warranted, though, as the Najran-based club have failed to win any of their last six away games in the top flight (W0 D1 L5) and failed to score in four games during this current winless run.

Al Ittihad Saudi Pro League form:

Al Okhdood Saudi Pro League form:

Team News

Al Ittihad are missing several key players at the moment, starting with Saad Al-Mousa, who will be serving the second of his three-match ban for the straight red he received against Al Wehda at the end of last month.

In addition, Abdullah Al-Jadani, Ahmed Sharahili and Ahmed Bamasud are all likely to miss the remainder of the season due to cruciate ligament tears, while Luiz Felipe is still nursing a muscle injury and will be sidelined for the foreseeable future.

For the visitors, Hassan Al-Habib was withdrawn shortly after the hour mark against Al Riyadh last week and could make way for Saleh Al-Harthi to return to the starting 11 in this match.

Leandre Tawamba leads the side with five goals in all competitions this season and should maintain his place in attack alongside Nigerian forward Saviour Godwin and Real Betis loanee Alex Collado.

Al Ittihad possible starting lineup:
Maiouf; Hawsawi, Hegazy, Mosa, Sahafi; Farhan, Fabinho, Kante; Benzema, Hamdallah, Romarinho

Al Okhdood possible starting lineup:
Vitor; Al Zabdani, Kvirkvelia, Burca, Al Mansour; Pedroza, Al-Muwallad, Al-Harthi; Collado, Tawamba, Godwin

We say: Al Ittihad 2-1 Al Okhdood

Al Akhdoud have shown major signs of improvement since the introduction of their new manager, but their away record is still very poor with five losses in their last six. Al Ittihad need a positive result here following back-to-back defeats in the league and cup and we feel they will be able to grind out a win 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
RAl Tai3487193464-3031
RAl Hazem34412183476-4224
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