x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pro League preview: Grafite looks to celebrate; Buoyant Al Shabab ready for Al Wasl

Grafite to return to Al Ahli next season; Al Shabab buoyed by their rout of Al Jazira; Salem Al Arafi takes over at Baniyas.

Grafite, centre, is ready to celebrate his decision to remain with Al Ahli when he and his teammates meet Al Wahda in a Pro League game Saturday night.
Grafite, centre, is ready to celebrate his decision to remain with Al Ahli when he and his teammates meet Al Wahda in a Pro League game Saturday night.

Al Ahli v Al Wahda

Having committed himself to another season at Al Ahli, Grafite will be looking to celebrate the occasion with a few goals against Wahda on Saturday night as the Brazilian striker plays catch-up with Asamoah Gyan in the Pro League scoring charts.

Grafite signed the new deal on Thursday, despite "several offers from Brazil", as he feels at "home" here.

Saturday night's game will be played at Al Shabab's Maktoum Stadium and no Ahli fans will be allowed into the stadium because of a disciplinary committee verdict.

 

Al Wasl v Al Shabab

Buoyed by their 5-1 rout of Al Jazira on Monday, Al Shabab will travel across the city to Zabeel Stadium hoping for another positive result as they battle to get back into the league's top four.

Shabab are led by the Brazilian trio of Ciel, Edgar Bruno and Luiz Henrique, who among them have 27 league goals.

Al Wasl will be looking to avoid a second consecutive reversal at home after being stunned 3-2 by Dibba Al Fujairah.

Wasl's most prolific scorer has been the Uruguayan Emiliano Alfaro, with 15, but no other Wasl player has more than six.

 

Ajman v Baniyas

Baniyas will have a new coach, Salem Al Arafi, at the helm when they visit Ajman this evening after the Abu Dhabi club decided to replace Josef Chovanic on Thursday.

The decision to bring in Al Arafi comes following Baniyas's 4-1 loss to Ahli at home on Monday.

The Emirati, 45, has been with the club for more than two decades and was the Baniyas captain when they won the President's Cup in 1992, the club's only trophy.

Chovanic will stay on at the club as technical adviser till the end of the season.

 

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