ABU DHABI // Ricardo Oliviera, the Pro League's most expensive player, reunites with Al Jazira as they try to maintain their lead at the top of the point-standing when the competition resumes after a break of more than a month.
The Dh72.5 miliionBrazilian purchase replaced Tony, the Ivorian forward, in last month's mid-season transfer window, returning to Abu Dhabi half-way through his loan with Sao Paulo.
"Ricardo joined us a month after the Brazilian season concluded and he has been working on his fitness since arriving in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago. We are still undecided if he will play or not, but he is a very experienced player to adjust to any situation," said Abel Braga, the Jazira coach.
Jazira play Al Nasr away and Braga expects tonight's opponents to be a rejuvenated side under new coach Walter Zenga, the former Italy goalkeeper.
"They have a new coach and being the first league game after a long break, we don't know what to expect," said Braga. "But everyone knows how we play because we have been together for a long time so they will have a good idea of our game.
"We will not change our style of play though. It is a difficult first game after a long break, but we are ready to face any opposition. The second half of the season is much harder and this is where we have faltered in the last two years but not this time."
Al Ain also have a new coach Alexandre Gallo andgo into their game with Dubai boosted by the possible Pro League debuts of their two new foreign signings - Milovan Mirosevic from Chile and the Brazilian Elias Ribeiro.