Mystery surrounds David Trezeguet's injury, with Jorvan Vieira, his coach, unwilling to comment on when the French striker could return to his struggling line-up. There have been reports claiming the 1998 World Cup winner, 33, has suffered an ankle fracture, but Vieira initially claimed it was just a "muscular injury". Asked about Trezeguet's chances of making the squad for their Pro League opener on Sunday at Ajman, Vieira would say no more than: "Inshallah. I cannot say anything more."
Asamoah Gyan will return to Al Ain this week full of confidence after his goal helped Ghana qualify for a place at the 2012 African Cup of Nations. Gyan, one of the Pro League's biggest signings this summer, got the first in a 2-0 win against Sudan in Khartoum, with John Mensah sealing victory. "I feel so pleased to be able to help my team. The goal has come at a good time and has given me some more confidence," Gyan told Ghanaian media.
Ion Marin hailed his team after a dream debut for the coach saw Dubai defeat Al Wasl 5-0 in the Etisalat Cup on Saturday. Diego Maradona fielded arguably his strongest side, but they were second best against unfancied Dubai, who last week made the Romanian their third coach of the season. Marin said: "The players were excellent and did everything we asked of them. We scored some fantastic goals and this is definitely something to build upon."
Hassan Maatouk has come to some special praise from Abdul Wahab Abdul Kader, the Ajman coach, after the Lebanese international scored twice on his debut in their 3-2 win over Al Nasr in the Etisalat Cup on Friday. "The club has invested in some good players and Hassan is up with them," said Abdul Kader. "To score twice in his first game against a top opposition is a good start for him."
Ivan Hasek has saluted the decision to start the season with the Etisalat Cup as it has allowed the teams to get in shape for the Pro League. The four rounds of cup matches have thrown up a few surprises and Hasek said: "As a coach, I am very happy. It is really good for the players and I believe every team is really happy with this competition."
Franky Vercauteren cannot wait to get all his first-choice players back for Al Jazira's Pro League opener at home to Al Ahli on Saturday. The Belgian coach was without a full team in his side's "undeserved" 4-2 Etisalat Cup defeat at Al Ain last Friday. "I will perhaps have a very different dressing room," he said. "It will be a completely different set of circumstances to the Al Ain game. But I can take positives from that defeat because we were the better team and did not deserve to lose."
Hugo's place in Al Wahda's line-up is in doubt after Josef Hickersberger, the coach, substituted the Brazilian midfielder at half time in the 3-2 home defeat to Emirates in the Etisalat Cup. "I took him out after 45 minutes because he wasn't doing anything," said the Austrian. "I consider myself as a patient coach and it was too much even for me. With this sort of performance it is not easy for me to play him in the first team."
* Compiled by Amith Passela, Ahmed Rizvi and Neil Cameron