x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Braga and Jazira aim to hit back

Almost two weeks after Al Jazira had their unbeaten start to the season ended by Al Ahli the loss still rankles with coach Abel Braga.

Almost two weeks after Al Jazira had their unbeaten start to the season ended by Al Ahli the loss still rankles with coach Abel Braga. The Abu Dhabi side are back in Eisalat Pro League action tonight as they host Al Shaab, and their opponents could be on the receiving end of a backlash from Jazira as Braga's men aim to bounce back from the 1-0 loss to Ahli Shaab were humbled 5-0 on their last visit to the Mohammed bin Zayed stadium for the Emirates Cup game last month, and the prospects of another drubbing loom large if the words of Braga are any indication.

"We have been training hard for this game," he said. "Our main concern is to gain the three points and raise our tally to 10." Jazira are currently in third spot and the Brazilian still rues the loss at Ahli. "We should have at least got a draw against Al Ahli. We deserved a point, if not three because we played a good game," he said. The good news for Shaab is that the Brazilian striker Rafael Sobis, who scored a hat-trick in the rout last month, is suspended for the game after collecting three yellow cards.

Ahli, meanwhile, will travel to the troubled Al Wasl tonight for the "Dubai derby". Wasl have had a disappointing time since winning the League and President's Cup double in 2007. They finished seventh last year and parted company with coach Ze Mario. Replacement Miroslav Beranek lasted just two games before being sacked and new coach Jurcic Srecko is also facing growing resentment. The disappointed fans staged a sit-down protest against the club's board last month, boycotting the Emirates Cup game against Al Khaleej.

The midfidler Khalid Darwish, said: "We desperately need their [the fans] support again. We need to open a new page." arizvi@thenational.ae