x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dreaded axe looms in Dubai

The Al Wasl and Al Nasr managers are under pressure after last week's sacking of Toninho Cerezo of Al Shabab and Ajman's Ze Mario, both for failing to produce results.

The heat is on for Alexandre Guimaraes and Frank Pagesldorf. The Al Wasl and Al Nasr managers are under pressure after last week's sacking of Toninho Cerezo of Al Shabab and Ajman's Ze Mario, both for failing to produce results. The pair's clubs are lagging at the bottom half of the table (Wasl in 8th, Nasr in 9th) and defeat for either team will likely have the fans demanding a change. The two teams played out a 2-2 draw in the Etisalat Cup earlier in the month.

Guimaraes' men beat Al Dhafra in their last game and the Brazilian hopes to take this confidence forward when they face city rivals tonight at the Al Maktoum Stadium. "The win over Al Dhafra relieved a lot of pressure on the players," said Guimaraes. "All we need to do now is to try and build on this win at this early stage in the league. Another three points from Al Nasr and we are back in business."

Al Wasl sacked three managers last season before appointing in Guimaraes, the coach of Costa Rica at the 2006 World Cup, to turn their fortunes around. Pagelsdorf, in his second season, has only a solitary win over the promoted Emirates. Meanwhile the promoted Baniyas travel to Ajman after recent giant killing performances including a win over the defending champions Al Ahli. Ajman's only success under Ze Mario was against Baniyas in the Etisalat Cup, but they are yet to win a point in the league and they now regroup under the caretaker coach Khalid Hosani

The Abu Dhabi club's Senegalese striker Andre Senghor says they are now better prepared to return with three points from Ajman. "We have had an excellent start and it doesn't surprise me because the quality of the players we have. I am very confident of three more points," he said. apassela@thenational.ae Ajman v Baniyas KO 4.55pm, Al Ain v Al Shabab KO 8pm