x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Braga wary of letting guard down

The Al Jazira coach is warning his table-topping squad to guard against complacency as they take on Al Dhafra tonight.

ABU DHABI // Having avenged their President's Cup semi-final defeat to Al Shabab last week, the Al Jazira coach Abel Braga has told his table topping squad to maintain that level of focus for every game they play. Jazira are heavy favourites against Al Dhafra tonight at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium (KO8pm), but Braga is aware that his team have slipped up in the past against minnows.

"We keep saying to be careful of the so-called weaker teams in the league, yet we let our guard down when and lose valuable points," said the Brazilian. "We just can't afford to do that any more. "We have done exceptionally well to remain unbeaten in the league and to win it and to play in the 2010 Club World Cup as the host team is our goal. But if we want to achieve that, we need to keep winning all our games."

Dhafra's were thrashed 4-1 by bottom-placed Ajman in their last game, but Braga said: "Dhafra are a side that will go all out in attack and they can come up with a huge performance on the night to bring any opposition down. "They are sixth in the points standing and that shows how much they have progressed. But we are ready for them." Jazira are expected to field their best line up with the Brazilian forward Rafael Sobis, who returned to Pro League action last week after injury, is set to spearhead the attack with compatriot Ricardo Oliveira.

Al Nasr travel to Ras Al Khaimah for a meeting with Emirate (KO 5.15pm) in the night's other game. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae