x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pro League previews: Grafite back to lead Al Ahli's charge

The Brazilian forward is available for the Dubai derby, while Al Ain travel to Fujairah in search for another big tally.

Al Ahli striker Grafite
Al Ahli striker Grafite

Al Ahli v Al Shabab

Grafite, Al Ahli's Brazilian forward, is set to return from injury for the Dubai derby against Al Shabab at the Rashid Stadium. The former Wolfsburg forward has so far scored six times in three league games, including a brace to salvage a 2-2 draw against Al Wasl, before the two-week break of the Pro League. Ahli failed to capitalise on their impressive opening game when they beat champions Al Ain 6-3 away, with a draw to Wasl and a defeat, to Al Jazira, since.

Kick off time: 6.30pm

Al Dhafra v Al Jazira

Dzemal Hadziabdic, the Al Dhafra coach, faces a selection headache as he is unable to field any of his Al Jazira loan contingent against their parent club. The Bosnian is forced to leave out Abdulraheem Jumaa, Waleed Al Yammahi and Khalid Al Sinani, the goalkeeper, who are all on loan from the Abu Dhabi side. And to compound those absentees, Mohammed Qasim, the defender sits out a one-match ban following his sending off against Al Ain.

Kick off time: 6.40pm

Dibba Al Fujairah v Al Ain

Dibba Al Fujairah, who have yet to win this season, face the daunting task of trying to contain Al Ain, the champions, who have hit the goal trail in their last two league games, scoring 11 while conceding just one. Al Ain will be at full strength with the return of the Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan, Australia's Alex Brosque and their four Emirati internationals Dawoud Suliaman, Omar Abdulrahman, Mohammed Ahmed and Muhanad Al Enazi from national duty.

Kick off time: 9pm

Baniyas v Al Shaab

Nick Carle and Ismail Belmaalem are back from national duty, for Australia and Morocco respectively, as Baniyas take on Al Shaab. The Emirati internationals Amer Abdulrahman and Mohammed Fawzi too are expected to be named in the line-up after featuring for the UAE in their two recent friendlies. Both teams will look to build on their most recent league performances, with Baniyas beating Dubai 3-2 away and Shaab putting five past Dibba.

Kick off time: 9pm