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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Al Wahda face 'big challenge' against Al Wasl to maintain 100 per cent start to AGL season

Manager Laurentiu Reghecampf without centre-back Hamdan Al Kamali to long-term neck injury

Laurentiu Reghecampf has overseen Al Wahda's 100 per cent winning start to the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League season. Chris Whiteoak for The National
Laurentiu Reghecampf has overseen Al Wahda's 100 per cent winning start to the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League season. Chris Whiteoak for The National

Laurentiu Reghecampf says his Al Wahda players face “a big challenge” to maintain their 100 per cent start to the Arabian Gulf League when they face Al Wasl this weekend.

Top of the table Wahda travel to the Zabeel Stadium to face last season’s runners-up as the AGL resumes following the international break.

“It’s good to be on the top of the league table at any time of the competition but it’s not going to be easy to stay up until the end. I wish we can,” Reghecampf said.

“To stay on top of a league is a challenge to any team. It certainly is for my players. The Wasl game is a very big test and we hope we can return with our record intact.”

Wahda travel to Dubai with a full squad, barring Hamdan Al Kamali, the centre-back who has not featured in any of the matches so far after being ruled out for more than six months with a neck injury he sustained at the Arab Cup in Egypt in July.

Reghecampf, however, will have to deal with some tired players – Balazs Dzsudzsak, the Hungary captain, and the South Korean Rim Chang-woo have returned to the squad from national duties.

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Dzsudzsak featured in Hungary’s World Cup qualifier defeat to Switzerland on October 7 and the 1-0 victory over Faroe Island three days later. Rim was engaged in his country’s friendlies.

“They have returned two days before our game against Wasl. It means they are playing three games in seven days, plus the travelling,” said the Wahda manager.

Wasl are also unbeaten having drawn 2-2 with Al Ain in their opener before wins against Emirates and Sharjah.

In Friday's early games, Hatta travel to Sharjah and champions Al Jazira will be hoping to bounce back from their two defeats in the league when they meet Al Dhafra away.

On Saturday, Al Nasr play Dibba at Al Maktoum Stadium and Al Ain travel to Ajman. Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will be at home to Emirates in the late game.

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