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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 34
May 27, 2024 at 7pm UK
KSU Soccer Stadium

4 - 2
Al Ittihad

Ronaldo (45+3', 69'), Ghareeb (78' pen.), Al Nemer (90+5')
Mane (3'), Al Amri (90+5'), Al Amri (90+7')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Al-Shamrani (89'), Fabinho (90+2')
Al Menhali (51')
Al Menhali (66')

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

Sports Mole previews Monday's Saudi Pro League clash between Al-Nassr and Al Ittihad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

PIF-owned rivals Al-Nassr and Al Ittihad do battle for the last time in the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League season at Al Awal Park at King Saud University on Monday night.

The hosts will end the campaign as runners-up for a second season in a row regardless of the outcome here, while the visitors are hoping to sneak into the top four at the last minute.

Match preview

Al Nassr's Otavio celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on May 23, 2024© Reuters

While Al-Nassr are likely to finish the campaign 14 points behind Al-Hilal, that is more of an illustration of how good the Blue Waves have been rather than a suggestion of poor form by Al-Alami.

Luis Castro's side have only lost four games all season, and while they also bowed out of the Champions Cup, there is still a chance they will earn a piece of silverware when they face Hilal in the King's Cup final.

Until then, the Knights of Najd need to maintain momentum but suffered a minor setback last week when they played out an unconvincing 2-2 draw away to Al Riyadh.

They conceded two first-half goals after Otavio gave them an early lead, and after Aymeric Laporte was sent off in the second half for an off-the-ball incident, it looked as though they were destined for defeat until Meshari Al-Nemer found a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time to salvage a point.

Laporte, who has been linked with a return to Spain in the summer, is now facing a two-match ban, meaning that he will not only miss out on the last league game of the campaign but he will also have to sit out the crucial cup final as well.

Al Ittihad's Abderrazak Hamdallah celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 11, 2024© Reuters

Meanwhile, the 2023-24 season has been an extremely challenging one on several fronts for Al Ittihad, and despite spending big last summer, it is evident that further investments will be the order of the day in the upcoming offseason.

Not only do they need to find a manager for the new campaign, but they are also in need of major reinforcements with almost their entire starting lineup currently sidelined through injury.

These issues have shown in their performances too, having gone five matches without victory in all competitions, including four consecutive defeats, before managing a 4-1 victory against Damac last weekend.

On the road, the Tigers have won one of their last four games, which was against basement club Al Hazem, although that came a week before they were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by relegation candidates Abha.

Understandably, Al Ittihad are likely looking forward to the end of the season, but they have one more challenge to face here and will likely be fearing the worst after suffering a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of this opponent in the reverse fixture.

Al-Nassr Saudi Pro League form:

Al Ittihad Saudi Pro League form:

Team News

Al Nassr coach Luis Castro before the match on May 23, 2024© Reuters

As mentioned, Al-Nassr will have to make do without Laporte for this match which should see Abdulelah Al-Amri step in to partner Ali Lajami in the heart of the defensive quartet.

Cristiano Ronaldo should receive the Golden Boot award at the end of the 90, currently on 33 goals this season, one behind the league's all-time record for the most goals scored in a season.

Talisca and Mohammed Maran are ruled out with muscle injuries, while goalkeeper Nawaf Al-Aqidi is still serving his five-month suspension.

Karim Benzema has now missed the last six games for Al Ittihad and widespread reports suggest that the Frenchman is pushing for a move away from the Middle East in the summer.

Among the notable names on the extensive absentee list for the visitors are Abderrazak Hamdallah, Ahmed Hegazy, Luiz Felipe, Fabinho, Abdullah Al-Mayouf and Omar Hawsawi.

Al-Nassr possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Al Ghanam, Lajami, Al-Amri, Telles; Al-Khaibari, Yahya, Brozovic, Otavio, Mane; Ronaldo

Al Ittihad possible starting lineup:
Mahasnah; Al Yami, Al Mosa, Kadesh, Al-Shanqeeti; Kante, Al Nashri, F. Al-Ghamdi; Jota, Haji, A. Al-Ghamdi

SM words green background

We say: Al-Nassr 3-1 Al Ittihad

Al Ittihad are limping across the line and are likely ready to turn the page on what has been a very poor title defence. However, they are facing an Al-Nassr side that need a big performance after a lackluster showing last week.

Luis Castro will be demanding improvement here and we feel the Knights of Najd will respond with a commanding final-day victory.

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

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Game History

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Alisson during the warm up before the match on April 1, 2024
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