PREVIEW: Roshn Saudi League matchweek 14

The Roshn Saudi League returns to action after the international break on Friday evening with Al Ittihad under the leadership of new boss Marcelo Gallardo heading to Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq and the Asir derby the two standout fixtures of the weekend.

Al Ettifaq vs Al Ittihad

Key Stat

Al Ittihad have not lost any of their last 11 games in the RSL that were played immediately after an international break (W7 D4). They are the only team among the big four in the competition that have not lost any of their last 11 games of this kind.

Players to watch

Jack Hendry – Al Ettifaq:

The defender played in Scotland’s 3-3 draw with Norway during the international break, Hendry is also one of the leading pass makers in the opposition half in the RSL this campaign and his influence will be needed at both ends of the pitch if Al Ettifaq are to upset the reigning RSL champions on home turf.

Al Wehda v Al Ettifaq: Saudi Pro League

Romarinho – Al Ittihad:

The Brazilian attacker enjoys playing against Al Ettifaq and has four goal involvements (three goals and one assist) in his last three games against the Dammam based club.

Did you know?

New Al Ittihad coach Marcelo Gallardo has won the Copa Libatadores as both a player and a manager with former club River Plate. His new club are the only team to have won the AFC Champions League on two consecutive occasions.

Al Taawoun vs Al Riyadh

Key Stat

This will be the first-ever meeting between Al Taawoun and Al Riyadh in the RSL. Al Taawoun have failed to win any of their two games after the international break this season and have scored the fewest goals after the last international break (two goals in four games).

Players to watch

Mateus Castro – Al Taawoun:

The Brazilian attacker has earned his side the most points in the RSL with his attacking contributions this season (two goals and four assists) but has not provided a goal or assist since Matchday 7 against Al Raed. Expect Castro to make an impact on Friday evening.

Juanmi - Al Riyadh:

The Spanish attacker played a key role in earning an important point against Al Fatah prior to the international break, and will be needed again if Al Riyadh are to spring a surprise result against top four chasing Al Taawoun.

Did you know?

Al Riyadh have scored the fewest goals from set-pieces (two) and Al Taawoun have scored the most goals from corner kicks (nine) this season so far in the RSL.

Al Nassr vs Al Okhdood

Key Stat

This will be the first-ever meeting between Al Nassr and Al Okhdood in all competitions. Al Nassr have not lost any of their last 12 games against newly promoted teams in RSL.

Players to Watch

Sadio Mane – Al Nassr:

Mane grabbed a brace for Senegal in their World Cup qualifier against South Sudan during the international break. The winger will be looking to add to impressive start to life for Al Nassr by adding to his tally of six goals in 13 RSL appearances.

Leandre Tawamba – Al Okhdood:

The veteran Cameroonian grabbed a brace last time out in the RSL against Al Hazem and will be looking to continue his rich vein of goal scoring form. Tawamba has already scored against Al Nassr this season with former club Al Taawoun.

Did you know?

Cristiano Ronaldo has contributed 11 goals in five games against promoted teams. Only in one game against a newly promoted team did Ronaldo not contribute to scoring, and that was against Al Khaleej in May last year.

Al Tai vs Al Raed

Key Stat

Al Tai and Al Raed are level in their Roshn Saudi League meetings, with one win each and two draws. Both draws came at Al Tai's Prince Abdulaziz bin Musa'ed Stadium.

Players to Watch

Bernard Mensah - Al Tai:

The flamboyant attacker has two goals in his last two RSL outings. With six goals in his 11 games, the former Besiktas man is now just six goals away from becoming the best Ghanaian scorer in the history of the RSL.

Julio Tavares – Al Raed:

The Cape Verdean striker got off the mark for the season with a vital winner against Al Shabab prior to the international break. With four seasons in the RSL under his belt, the veteran knows exactly what is needed in front of goal to get Al Raed out of the relegation zone.

Did you know?

Al Tai's six goals against Al Raed in the RSL have been scored by foreign players and all of them were from inside the penalty area.


Al Fateh vs Al Fayha

Key Stat

Al Fateh have not scored in their last three games against Al Fayha in RSL, which is their longest current run without scoring against a team in the competition.

Players to Watch

Lucas Zelarayan – Al Fateh:

The Armenian attacker was amongst the goals during the international break, and having scored in the RSL in September and October, the former Columbus Crew man will be targeting a goal in the month of November.

Al Fayha - Ghislain Konan:

The Ivorian defender is the second best player in the RSL for duels, winning 67% of his battles so far in the season. Konan will have to be at his reactive best if Al Fayha are to defeat Al Fateh.

Did you know?

Marwan Saadane and Sofiane Bendebka have scored Al Fateh's last four goals against Al Fayha in the RSL.

Al Hazem vs Al Hilal

Key Stat

Al Hazem have not beaten Al Hilal in six attempts drawing twice and losing four games during that period.

Players to Watch

Faiz Selemani – Al Hazem:

The Comoros international attacker bagged a brace the last time Al Hazem tasted victory in the RSL in a 4-3 thriller against Al Raed back on the 21st of October. Selemani has all the attributes to pull off a moment of magic against the RSL league leaders.

Al Fateh v Al-Hilal - Saudi Pro League







Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – Al Hilal:

The Serbian midfielder has enjoyed playing against newly promoted teams this season scoring three goals and one assist so far in the RSL. That included a goal after just 45 seconds against Al Ahli!

Did you know?

Al Hilal have not lost any of their last 18 games in November in the RSL.


Al Ahli vs Al Shabab

Key Stat

Al Ahli have not won any of their last six games (D3 L3) against Al Shabab in the RSL.

Players to Watch

Franck Kessie – Al Ahli:

Kessie has been a powerhouse for Al Ahli in the centre of the park since signing from Barcelona in the summer. The Ivorian’s last goal in the RSL was the match winner against reigning champions Al Ittihad on the 6th of October, don’t be surprised if he makes a telling contribution against Al Shabab on Saturday night.

Ever Banega – Al Shabab:

The Argentinian ace has contributed to four goals in three games against Al Ahli in the RSL (one goal and three assists). The contribution from the midfielder could be vital is Al Shebab are to pick up their first win in four away games in the RSL.

Did you know?

 Al Ahli have won only one of their last 13 games against Riyadh clubs in the RSL (W1 D4 L8), and that win came in last game against Al Riyadh 3-0.


Al Wehda vs Al Khaleej

Key Stat

Al Khaleej coach Pedro Emanuel has the most wins in the RSL against Al Wehda (4) in four games as a coach for Al Taawoun and Al Khaleej. He is the most successful coach against them in the competition with a 100% win rate.

Players to Watch

Munir Mohamedi -  Al Wehda:

The Moroccan keeper caught the eye last time out in the RSL pulling off a string of big saves, which ultimately came to nothing against a rampant Al Nassr side. Al Wehda have not tasted victory on home soil in their last three RSL outings, and Mohamedi could be the key man to ensure that record changes.

Fabio Martins – Al Khaleej:

Martins put on a virtuoso performance last time out providing a goal and an assist as the team from Saihat picked up a 3-1 win against Al Tai. Al Khaleej have not registered back-to-back wins in the RSL since April-May last year and the Al Khaleej captain could prove to be the difference maker yet again.

Did you know?

Al Wehda have failed to win any of their last six games on Saturday in RSL (D1 L5) whilst Al Khaleej have failed to score in their last three games on this day in the competition.


Damac vs Abha

Key Stat

Damac have not lost at home when hosting Asir rivals Abha in the RSL winning three times and drawing just once.

Players to watch

Farouk Chafai – Damac:

The Algerian defender came up with a goal that kick started Damac’s comeback against Al Ahli in Matchday 13. Chafai enjoys playing against Abha and has scored on four occasions against Damac’s local rivals; interestingly he has never scored on home soil in this game.


Ciprian Tatarusanu – Abha:

Veteran keeper Tatarusanu will have to be at his very best is Abha are to come away from their rivals with a result. Abha have never kept a clean sheet against Damac in all their meetings in the RSL, could that change on Saturday?

Did you know?

Damac coach Cosmin Contra has won all his three games against Abha in the RSL by an aggregate score of 11-1 and his teams have scored the most goals against them in the competition.