With a victory at Al Ahli tonight, Al Ain can return to what they might consider their natural place - atop the Pro League table.
Sharjah are at home to Al Shabab in the league's other match today, reflecting postponements from the fourth round last month, when Shabab and Ahli played in the Gulf Club Cup championship.
Al Ain won four league championships in the first decade of this century but were a distant third in both 2009 and 2010, and flirted with relegation last season before finishing 10th.
However, they are enjoying a renaissance this season, having added in the summer the international strikers Asamoah Gyan and Yasser Al Qahtani, as well as the midfielders Ignacio Scocco and Mirel Radoi.
They are unbeaten in six matches, and with a victory can vault past the leaders Al Jazira, who lost at Shabab last week.
Ahli have struggled to find their footing, first under Ivan Hasek, and now Quique Sanchez Flores, but a victory can move them near the upper half of the table.
Shabab also can make a move towards the top at Sharjah. Paulo Bonamigo's side, animated by the Brazilian winger Ciel, have been held three times but have yet to suffer defeat. Sharjah will be keen to put some distance between themselves and bottom-dwellers Emirates and Dubai, one and two points back, respectively.