x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pro League team-by-team: Wasl, Wahda, Baniyas

Boloni, who led Al Jazira to a second-place finish three years ago, has a good blend of talented and experienced Emirati players at Wahda.

Coach Alexandre Guimaraes (Brazil) Last title (total) 2007 (7) 2009/10 record 8-5-9 Key addition Francisco Javier Yeste, midfielder (Athletic Bilbao) Departed Douglas dos Santos, midfielder (Gremio) Summary Guimaraes was entrusted in building a young squad and he did a fairly admirable job to take them to the middle of the league table. They have kept faith with their squad and Alexandre Oliveira will continue his role as the main striker. Yeste is their new signing, and he is expected to play a pivotal role in the midfield. On their day Wasl could be formidable opponents last year. Consistency is now needed to take the next step and challenge at the top.

Coach Laszlo Boloni (Romania) Last title (total) 2010 (4) 2009/10 record 19-1-2 Key additions Modibo Diarra, forward (Baniyas) Departed Pinga, midfielder (Al Ahli) Summary Boloni, who led Al Jazira to a second-place finish three years ago, has a good blend of talented and experienced Emirati players at his disposal and in Fernando Baiano, the Brazilian, an outstanding striker. Baiano will be well supported by Ismail Matar and Mohammed al Shehhi and there is plenty of goals in the team. Abdulraheem Jumaa will pull the strings from midfield and the defence looks solid. The squad looks strong enough to retain their hold on the league.

Coach Lutfi al Benzarti (Tunisia) Last title (total) None 2009/10 record 10-6-6 Key addition Eder Gaucho, defender (Sharjah) Departed Modibo Diarra (Al Wahda) Summary Al Benzarti has done wonders with a young squad. He earned them promotion and helped them finish fourth in the Pro League last season. They have talented and attack-minded Emirati youngsters in Thiyab Awana and Amer Abdulrahman, both members of the UAE youth team that reached the Under 20 World Cup last year and won the U23 Gulf Cup earlier this month.