Al Wahda have suffered a season of frustration. The Abu Dhabi side have been on the cusp of three domestic trophies but failed to win any of them, and now the Pro League holders find themselves finishing the season as also-rans.
Their last chance at leaving a mark this term would seem to be in the Asian Champions League (ACL), where they could vault into second place in Group C if they can fashion a victory away to Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in Taskhent tonight.
Wahda lost to Emirates in the Super Cup, fell to Al Jazira in the President's Cup final and dropped out of the Etisalat Cup to eventual champions Al Shabab in the semi-finals. But they still could become the first UAE club to reach the ACL knockout phase since 2007.
Josef Hickersberger, Wahda's Austrian coach, is expected to field his best side, which would include the Brazilian trio of Fernando Baiano, Hugo and Magrao. Wahda have drawn three of their four ACL matches, and a draw tonight would leave them in position to advance from a May 10 home game with Persepolis, though they would need help from Al Ittihad.
Bunyodkor held Wahda 1-1 away in March.
3pm, Abu Dhabi Sports