x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai hope to finally find their scoring touch against Wasl

Paul Oberjuerge

Ion Marin faces a challenging debut as the coach of Dubai as they play host to Diego Maradona's high-scoring Al Wasl side in Round 4 of the Etisalat Cup tonight.

Dubai and Marin, the former manager at Dinamo Bucharest, will hope to slow the Wasl attack, which produced a league-best nine goals over the first three rounds of EtisalatCup play.

Marin was hired earlier this week to replace the Swiss Umberto Barberis, who in turn had replaced the Argentine Nestor Clausen after the first match.

Dubai have scored only three goals in three matches, which included a 2-1 victory over Emirates, who fielded their reserve side. The side are waiting for the Moroccan forward Nabil Daoudi to find his form, as well as the Guinean midfielder Simon Pierre Feindouno; neither has scored yet.

Mariano Donda, the Argentine midfielder, has been the trigger for Maradona's productive attack, scoring four goals.

The Emiratis, Essa Ali and Rashid Essa, have two goals each for Wasl, and the Uruguayan forward Juan Manuel Olivera has one.

Ali will not be available tonight, however, because he is with the national team in China. The game kicks off at 6.45pm

Also tonight, Baniyas will attempt to overcome a difficult three weeks marked by the death of the midfielder Theyab Awana in an car accident.

Baniyas, second in the league a year ago, have scored only two goals in three Etisalat Cup matches despite having Andre Senghor, the leading Pro League scorer last season with 18, in their side, as well as the French import David Trezeguet.

Al Ahli are fresh off a 3-1 victory over Al Shabab, a match in which the coach Ivan Hasek said he saw hints of the club's form in 2008/09, when they won the league.

Grafite and Jakson Coelho, the Brazilians, have been influential in the attack, with five goals between them. Kick-off is at 9pm at Ahli.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae