x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Ajman’s Kabi will be on sideline for relegation battle with Al Shaab

Abdulwahab Abdulqadir’s men, four points and one place above the AGL relegation zone, host Al Shaab lying directly below them in the table on Friday so an Ajman win will provide some distance, reports John McAuley.

Ajman captain Boris Kabi, center, will have to watch Friday's meeting with Al Shaab from the sideline because of a suspension. Razan Alzayani / The National
Ajman captain Boris Kabi, center, will have to watch Friday's meeting with Al Shaab from the sideline because of a suspension. Razan Alzayani / The National

Ajman are seeking a vital victory in Friday night’s bottom-of-the-table clash against Al Shaab, a result that should almost secure their Arabian Gulf League status for another season.

Abdulwahab Abdulqadir’s men, four points and one place above the relegation zone, host the Sharjah club lying directly below them in the table.

Shaab have failed to record an away win all year and meet an Ajman side who have triumphed in two of their past three league matches, including a surprise 2-0 victory against title-chasing Al Jazira.

Another win would see Ajman pull seven clear of Shaab with six rounds remaining of the 2013/14 campaign – a gap that would most likely prove unassailable for Zeljko Petrovic’s survival-chasing team.

“Al Shaab have done well until this stage and, of course, the match will be difficult for both teams, but the three points is all we’re looking for,” Abdulqadir said.

“We know Shaab and ourselves are so close to each other. That’s what makes this match so important.”

Ajman will be without Boris Kabi, their captain and top scorer, as the Ivorian misses the match because of suspension.

If goals are therefore harder to come by, Abdulqadir realises the importance of keeping it tight at the back, especially with Michel N’dri, Shaab’s lead forward, always a threat.

“Boris is one of our most important players, but this will not be a negative for us since we have other good players,” Abdulqadir said. “We’ll play the same way we did against Al Wasl and Jazira. Our defenders have a big responsibility as Shaab have very accomplished strikers.”

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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