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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 34
May 27, 2024 at 7pm UK
Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Qasimi Stadium

1 - 0
Al Ettifaq

Abdulmalik (90')
El Mahdioui (45+7'), Abdulmalik (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Hazazi (45+5'), Al Otaibi (75')

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

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

Al-Taawoun are set to play arguably their most important match of the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League season on Monday night when they host Al Ettifaq at Al Taawoun Club Stadium.

The hosts head into the last game of the season two points clear of Al Ittihad in fifth, while the visitors need just a point to secure sixth place in the final league standings.

Match preview

Al Ettifaq's Demarai Gray celebrates with teammates after the match on September 21, 2023© Reuters

Al-Taawoun have enjoyed another progressive season and enter the final matchday firmly in the driver's seat to secure fourth place and prove themselves to be the noisy neighbour to the PIF-owned 'big four'.

Finishing fourth will be significant for the Wolves, as it will be enough for them to qualify for next season's AFC Champions League 2. Owing to Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr having already secured their places in the ACL Champions League Elite, the winner of the King's Cup will be inconsequential in terms of ACL2 qualification.

A win will guarantee Claudio Roberto's side fourth, while a draw could see them end level on points with Al Ittihad, in which case they still hold a strong hand with a four-goal advantage. Al-Taawoun and Al Ittihad drew both league games in the season.

The hosts had the opportunity to put the top four race to bed last week but only managed a 1-1 draw away to Al Fayha, with Fashion Sakala cancelling out Abdulmalik Al Oyayari's opener in the first half.

Sukri Al-Qasim have taken a total of 27 points from a possible 48 at Al Taawoun Club Stadium this season and are unbeaten in their last three encounters against their opponent in this one (W2 D1 L0).

Meanwhile, after a rollercoaster of a season, Al Ettifaq are ending the campaign well and can wrap up sixth place, which is one spot up from last term, with a point in this match.

However, a loss could see them slip to seventh if Al Fateh wins their final-day fixture against Al Shabab since Al Namothji won home and away in the regular season matchups between the sides.

Alvaro Medran scored what turned out to be the winner for Steven Gerrard's side against Al Shabab last week, extending their current unbeaten run to three on the bounce, including that emphatic away win over Al Ittihad earlier this month.

Al Ettifaq are expected to be busy in the off-season as the one area the Gerrard will look to address is the side's attack. They have been significantly off the goal-scoring pace of the top five, managing just 43 goals this season, which is a worse tally than 13th-placed Al-Wehda have posted.

Al-Taawoun Saudi Pro League form:

Al Ettifaq Saudi Pro League form:

Team News

Al Ettifaq coach Steven Gerrard on November 4, 2023© Reuters

Saad Al-Nasser was withdrawn less than 20 minutes into last week's stalemate against Al Fayha and is unlikely to recover in time to feature in this match.

Al-Nasser will be joined on the sidelines by Rakan Al-Tulayhi, Mateus, Andrei Girotto, Abdulfattah Adam and Mohammed Mahzari, all of whom are ruled out due to injury.

Demarai Gray aggravated a shoulder injury in Al Ettifaq's 5-0 drubbing of Al Ittihad and is the only injury concern that Gerrard has to contend with in this match.

The visitors will also have to make do without the services of Mohammed Abdulrahman, who is suspended for the final game of the season due to the straight red he was shown against Al Akhdoud a couple of weeks ago.

Al-Taawoun possible starting lineup:
Maylson; Al Oyayari, Al-Saluli, Al-Ahmed, Al-Shoeil; Flavio, El Mahdioui, Al Abdulrazzaq; Al Kuwaykibi, Dos Santos, Barrow

Al Ettifaq possible starting lineup:
Victor; Otaibi, Hendry, Madu, Al-Khateeb; Hazazi, Wijnaldum, Fofana, Medran; Ekambi, Camara

SM words green background

We say: Al-Taawoun 1-1 Al Ettifaq

While Al Taawoun have been the more consistent side over the course of the season, Al Ettifaq are ending the campaign well and need something from this match to secure sixth place in the league standings.

Considering the permutations, a point should be enough for the hosts to finish fourth and while both sides will go for the win, we feel they will be happy settling for a share of the spoils.

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

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Group A

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Group B

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