x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Wasl on a hiding to nothing

Al Wasl are under severe pressure for the clash with in-form Al Jazira after their manager Miroslav Beranek became the first casualty of the Pro League.

ABU DHABI // Miroslav Beranek becoming the first casualty after two matches of the Pro League leaves Al Wasl travelling under severe pressure for a clash with the in-form Al Jazira at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. The Czech who served as the assistant to the national team coach Karel Bruckner between 2002-2006 was fired after his side scraped through to a 1-0 win over Ajman and beaten 4-2 by Al Wahda in the next.

Beranek's assistant Jaroslav Horack, who is in charge until a replacement is found, will have to draw on all his experience to motivate his side against a team who return to action on the back of a thumping 6-1 thrashing of Al Khaleej. To add further worries for the Dubai club, the Jazira coach Abel Braga will have a full squad to select as the national team players Subaith Khater and Helal Saeed sit out from one-match bans from international duty. The two midfielders will join national team members Saleh Obaid, Ahmed Dada and Rashid Abdulrahman, all dropped from the squad traveling to South Korea.

And with the Brazilian trio Rafael Sobis, Fernando Baiano and Marceo Rozario making their presence felt better in the last game, Wasl can only expect a rough ride. Sobis, from whom a lot is expected, overcame a slugging start in their derby match with Al Wahda to score twice against Al Khaleej in a last week's rout. And Braga expects the 23-year-old Brazilian international to get better after every game.

"Sobis is a big signing for the club and naturally everyone expects him to perform in every game," said the Brazilian coach. "I expect him to improve with but I'm in no hurry." @Email:apassela@thenational.ae