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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

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

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

Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo shakes hands with Al Ittihad's Ahmed Hegazy on January 26, 2023© Reuters

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

Al Ittihad's N'Golo Kante pictured on September 1, 2023 © Reuters

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


SM words green background

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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Game History

How you voted: Damac vs Al Ittihad

Damac
20.8%
Draw
8.3%
Al Ittihad
70.8%
24
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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Al-HilalAl-Hilal20182062105256
2Al-Nassr20161357243349
3Al-AhliAl-Ahli21134447232443
4Al-TaawounAl-Taawoun21115536241238
5Al Ittihad20104639261334
6Damac218763627931
7Al Fateh218673529630
8Al Ettifaq207762422228
9Al WahdaAl Wahda2082103235-326
10Al ShababAl Shabab206682025-524
11Al Okhdood2172121730-1323
12Al Khaleej2064102330-722
13Al Fayha205782232-1022
14Al RaedAl Raed2155112635-920
15Al Riyadh2155111840-2220
16Al Tai2153132244-2218
17Abha2043132353-3015
18Al Hazem2027112050-3013

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