x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Al Wahda's injuries give Josef Hickersberger a headache

Eleven players ruled out for clash with Al Nasr tonight.

Al Wahda's head coach Josef Hickersberger has injury problems to contend with.
Al Wahda's head coach Josef Hickersberger has injury problems to contend with.

DUBAI // Al Wahda will be missing 11 of their first team squad when they host Al Nasr tonight, but Josef Hickersberger still expects his club to put up a tough fight.

Magrao, the Brazilian midfielder who has been out of action for two months, heads a growing injury list, which also includes Haider Ali, Mohammed Al Shaibah, Mahmoud Khamis, Eisa Abdulla, Saeed Al Kathiri and Khalid Jalal.

Yacoub Al Hosani will miss the game through suspension, while Salem Saleh, Amer Omar and the goalkeeper Adel Al Hosani are on duty with the Olympic team.

"The situation hasn't improved in terms of injuries to players," Hickersberger, the coach, said.

"We can only play with those available and I think we have done quite well under the circumstances. This has been the case all through the season, unfortunately.

"Al Nasr, of course, are enjoying their best season in a long time and are title contenders. They will be pumped up for this game but we will give them a good run and, hopefully, end up with three points."

Nasr are currently second in the table with 27 points, three behind the leaders Al Ain. They are unbeaten in 10 Pro League games, with their last defeat coming against Wahda at home in October.

Even so, Walter Zenga, the Nasr coach, reiterated that he is not looking at how many points his team have won.

"I have said this many times: Every game is a challenge for us," Zenga said.

"We are not looking at the points table, we are not looking at the opponent.

"We just want to challenge ourselves in this second half of the league and see where we can finish."