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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 16
Dec 7, 2023 at 3pm UK
Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium

Damac
3 - 1
Al Ittihad

N'Koudou (12', 45+7'), Grohe (46' og.)
Al-Hawsawi (22')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Hamdallah (45+3' pen.)
Hamdallah (68'), Al-Shamrani (75'), Kadesh (90+2')

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

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

Damac will hope to keep their positive run of results in the Saudi Pro League going when they face off against Al Ittihad at the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

The hosts are currently in eighth place in the league standings with 21 points after 15 matches, while the visitors are fourth and seven points ahead of their opponents.


Match preview

After failing to win any of their first seven matches in the league at the start of the season, Damac seem to have found their rhythm of late and come into this match with excellent momentum behind them.

The Knights of the South secured a 4-2 win away to Al Fayha last week, which extended their current run of results to five league matches unbeaten, including three wins and two draws.

Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Georges-Kevin N'Koudou scored two goals in the last match, taking him to five goals in the last two games, while as a team, Damac have netted 10 times in their last three outings.

While Cosmin Contra's side are the underdogs heading into this match, it is worth noting that the hosts have the fifth-best home record this season and are one of only three clubs that are yet to suffer defeat on home soil (W3 D4 L0).

Meanwhile, Al Ittihad head into this encounter after securing the top spot in their group in the AFC Champions League by beating Sepahan 2-1 at the King Abdullah Sport City on Monday evening.

Saleh Al Amri and Jota scored on either side of a Ramin Rezaeian strike, which saw the Tigers end five points above the Iranian outfit and extend their recent record to five matches unbeaten in all competitions.

However, while the visitors have been formidable in the continental cup competition, their domestic form has taken a notable dip in recent weeks, which has seen them fall 13 points behind league leaders Al Hilal.

In addition, after winning their first four away league games without conceding a single goal, Al Ittihad will enter this match, having failed to win any of their last four on the road, drawing three and losing one.

While their overall record up to this point in the season may be a cause for a few concerns, Marcelo Gallardo is unbeaten since being appointed as manager on November 18 and will be determined to keep that record intact as he tries to get his side back into the title race.

Damac Saudi Pro League form:

Al Ittihad Saudi Pro League form:


Team News

Contra has a full squad at his disposal for this match, and considering his side's positive recent performances, it would not be unsurprising to see the Damac boss opt for a very similar lineup to the one he fielded in last week's victory.

Nicolae Stanciu and Ahmad Al-Zain are expected to join N'Koudou in the centre of the park, while Bader Munshi and Domagoj Antolic should operate in the double-pivot.

For the visitors, Karim Benzema was withdrawn in the first half against Al-Khaleej in the last league outing due to a back injury and has been flagged as a major doubt for this match.

The Frenchman will join his compatriot N'Golo Kante on the treatment table, while Abdullah Al-Jadani, Ahmed Mohammed Sharahili and Aseel Abed are also expected to be sidelined for this one through injury.


Damac possible starting lineup:
Al Mahasneh; Sawsawi, Chafai, Bedrane, Al Anazi; Munshi, Antolic; Zain, Stanciu, N'Koudou; Al-Shahrani

Al Ittihad possible starting lineup:
Grohe; Al-Shanqeeti, Hawsawi, Felipe, Al Hawsawi; Al-Sahafi, Fabinho, Al-Ghamdi, Jota; Hamdallah, Al-Amri


We say: Damac 1-2 Al Ittihad

There has been a noticeable uptick in performances by Al Ittihad since the arrival of Marcelo Gallardo, and the Argentine manager is heavily fancied to keep his unbeaten record intact here. The hosts are certainly no pushover on their home patch, but we feel that the visitors will just about edge this one by the final whistle.



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
1Al-AhliAl-Ahli00000000
2Al Okhdood00000000
3Al Ettifaq00000000
4Al Fateh00000000
5Al Fayha00000000
6Al-HilalAl-Hilal00000000
7Al Ittihad00000000
8Al Khaleej00000000
9 00000000
10Al-Nassr00000000
11 00000000
12Al Quadisiya00000000
13Al RaedAl Raed00000000
14Al Riyadh00000000
15Al ShababAl Shabab00000000
16Al-TaawounAl-Taawoun00000000
17Al WahdaAl Wahda00000000
18Damac00000000
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