Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Wahda are wary of Baniyas

Josef Hickersberger, the Al Wahda coach, has warned his players not to underestimate Baniyas in the Pro League tonight.

ABU DHABI // Josef Hickersberger, the Al Wahda coach, has warned his players not to underestimate Baniyas when they meet in the Pro League at the Al Nahyan Stadium tonight, despite drubbing their opponents 4-0 when they met in the President's Cup four weeks ago. Hickersberger felt the scoreline flattered his side, saying: "They had lot of possession and scoring opportunities. They were unlucky that night as two of their shots hit the post. We returned with a scoreline that looked one-sided, when it really wasn't.

"Baniyas are only a point behind us and that tells us a different story. Nobody should undermine their strength. This is a big game for both teams. "Of course we want to win and we are prepared with no selection worries. We only had two days [together] after five of our players returned from national duty, but they're not big issues." Ismail Matar, Mohammed al Shehhi, Mahmoud Khamis, Fahad Masoud and Hamdan al Kamali all return for Wahda, who sit four points behind league leaders Al Jazira, after featuring in the 0-0 friendly against Kuwait on Wednesday.

Baniyas are strengthened by the return of Theyab Awana, Amer Abdulrahman and Modibo Diarra, now fully recovered from a leg injury, for the game (kick-off 4.45pm) in the capital. They lost 1-0 to Al Ain in their midweek Etisalat Cup fixture, although coach Lutfi al Benzarti rested some players with tonight's match in mind. "Our concentration is on the league after the superb start we have had," said al Benzarti. "For us, every game in the league is now a big game. We want to consolidate our position and try to finish in the top four."

Al Jazira face Al Ahli on Tuesday, while Al Shabab are at home to Al Nasr on the same night. apassela@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National