x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Pro League round-up: Sharjah will be a 'mystery'

Al Wasl fans plan to take metro to games as Jazira and Wahda have work to do

Sharjah

Eesam Darwish, the Sharjah midfielder, believes his side could be a "mystery" to most teams if they can implement Valeriu Tita's strategies in matches. Tita replaced Carlos Azenha as the coach earlier this week after the Portuguese stepped down from the post last week citing personal reasons. The Romanian has been training the team since Saturday and Darwish is impressed with the new tactics the coach has employed. "The last coach was not bad, but in just a few days Tita has succeeded in finding proper solutions to the team's problems," he told reporters after Tuesday's training session. "His daily workouts are very different and I have not seen anything like it before. If we can implement these strategies in our matches, we will be a great mystery to all the teams."

Al Wasl

In a unique gesture, the Al Wasl fans have decided to use the metro to travel to Al Ahli for their Etisalat Cup match against promoted Ras Al Khaimah side Emirates today. The Wasl fans' association have decided to assemble at a specific place and then use the subway to reach the Ahli stadium across the city in Ghusais. They are planning to do the same for every Wasl game in Dubai. Today's match is Wasl's second of the Etisalat Cup; they lost the first 4-3 at Al Jazira. The match has been moved to Al Ahli because of maintenance work at Wasl.

Baniyas

Jorvan Viera, the Baniyas coach, will field a young team against Ajman tonight. He insisted the Pro League is more important than the Etisalat Cup, so he will take this opportunity to experiment with his line-up. "The Pro League is our priority so I will be putting out of younger team for the cup match," Viera said. "Anyway, we have a number of players away with the national team and there are some injuries as well, so there were always going to be changes. We still want to win. Ajman have been impressive so far, so this will be a test for the players. But the league is a priority for us."

Al Jazira

Frankie Vercauteren, the Jazira coach, wants his players to bulk up for the season ahead. The Belgian has been working with his squad for two weeks now and believes the one thing they need is to learn how to match opponents in a physical sense."We have been working on a number of things and one of the main issues has been the physical aspect of the game," he said. "Because we, as a coaching staff, have started late, this is something we felt had to be looked at as it's something that is normally worked on earlier than this. We will use these weeks to look at the balance of the team, get them game fit and physically ready. But that does not mean we are not working on the football." Al Jazira are at the home of Abu Dhabi rivals Al Wahda tomorrow in the Etisalat Cup.

Al Ain

Al Ain are hoping to learn their lesson from last week's 2-1 defeat to Abu Dhabi rivals Al Wahda in their first Etisalat Cup match. Matar Al Sahbani, Al Ain's first-team manager, revealed the coaching staff held a meeting with the squad to watch a video of the game and talk about mistakes and technical issues from the match. The team have since been working on those areas in training. "We didn't close the file of the first match directly until we discussed the factors of the loss and working on rectifying them," said Al Sahbani, ahead of tomorrow's trip to face Dubai. "Many Al Ain fans expected to win the derby match after enhancing the team [in the summer]. We were on the edge of winning the match."