Branko Ivankovic, the Al Wahda coach, will be back on the touchline for his side's opening Pro League game of the season at Al Wasl today after missing their Etisalat Cup victory at Al Nasr in midweek.
Ivankovic had to rush home to Serbia to attend the funeral of his mother on the eve of his team's first game.
Andrej Panadic, his assistant, took charge of the 3-0 win over Nasr and has been overseeing training with Ivankovic away.
According to Panadic, apart from Anas Bani Yaseen, the Jordanian defender, and the Emirati winger Mahmoud Khamis, Ivankovic will have a full squad available, including Ismail Matar and Marcelo Oliveira, the newly signed Brazilian forward from Sharjah.
"Despite the difficult time, the head coach has been in touch with the technical staff every single day he was away," Panadic said. "So he is well informed of the day-to-day affairs.
"Our objective obviously is to win three points from this opening league game. The good news is Ismail has recovered faster than we expected and is available for selection. We have also Marcelo available. It is up to the head coach to decide on the line-up though."
Marcelo Oliveira, 27, better known as Marcelinho, completed a two-year transfer deal over the weekend.
He replaces the injured Eric Mouloungui, the Gabon international who will be out for the entire first half of the season after undergoing ankle surgery..
Saeed Al Kathiri could be a key player for Wahda tonight. The Emirati forward scored in the UAE's 3-0 victory over Kuwait in a friendly two weeks ago and scored a brace at Nasr.
Bruno Metsu, the Wasl coach who watched Wahda's win over Nasr, knows his side face strong opponents.
"Wahda are very good team, they have exceptional local players and they are known to be contenders," the Frenchman said.
"Maybe the last two years they were unlucky with the lack of local players in terms of technical ability, but this season this problem seems to have been solved."
On his side's positives from the 4-2 win over Kalba in the Etisalat Cup, Metsu said: "We were down to 10 men after the first 10 minutes and played the rest with a player down.
"However, we were able to control play and come out with the win - this is something that we're very happy about."
Follow us @SprtNationalUAE