PREVIEW: Roshn Saudi League Matchweek 27

The games are coming thick and fast as the Roshn Saudi League races towards its climax, with Matchweek 27 to be played across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be eyeing an unprecedented third consecutive hat-trick when his Al Nassr side travel to Damac, while league leaders Al Hilal will be intent on extending their world-record winning streak with a potentially tricky game at Al Khaleej.

Damac vs Al Nassr

Fresh from scoring a hat-trick in his past two RSL games, Ronaldo looks set to be the main man again as Al Nassr head to Khamis Mushait for the clash of Damac. The Portuguese superstar has 29 goals in 24 league starts, leading to a commanding seven-goal lead at the top of the scoring charts.

Damac seem a little lost in the mid-table shuffle and have only tasted victory once in their past five RSL encounters. In Cameroon international Georges-Kevin N'Koudou, though, the side from the southern mountains have a player who can create something from nothing. They might well fancy their chances of springing an upset against Al Nassr.

Al Khaleej vs Al Hilal

Can Al Khaleej derail the Al Hilal winning machine? Pedro Emanuel’s side are undefeated in their past seven RSL games, a run which has pulled them away from the relegation zone. Driven by the goals of Togo international Khaled Narey, the team from Saihat could prove a real problem for the RSL frontrunners.

Meanwhile, Al Hilal are gunning for a record-extending 32nd consecutive victory, and even in the absence of injured striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, they brushed aside Al Okhdood 3-0 last time out.

Jorge Jesus may even elect to change up his side, with tests in the Saudi Super Cup against Al Nassr and an AFC Champions League semi-final against Al Ain on the horizon. Can Al Khaleej take advantage? 

Al Ittihad vs Al Taawoun

Al Ittihad will want to get back on track after their narrow defeat in the Jeddah derby to rivals Al Ahli. Results had been improving under new manager Marcelo Gallardo, but in the absence of key youngster called-up for the U23 national team, such as March Young Player of the Month Ahmed Al Ghamdi, alongside Marwan Al Sahafi, Faisal Al Ghamdi and Zakaria Hawsawi, Al Ittihad will feel their squad is stretched a bit thin.


Meanwhile, Al Taawoun have lost only once in their past six RSL games, and that was to Al Ahli. After coming from 2-0 down last time out against Al Tai to snatch a 3-2 win, confidence will be high within the Wolves ranks.

Victory for the side from Buraidah would see them leapfrog Al Ittihad into fourth - and put themselves in the driving seat for finishing in that spot.

Al Ahli vs Al Wehda

Matthias Jaissle has been masterminding an impressive run at Al Ahli. The Jeddah club have lost only twice in their past 15 RSL matches, and look set for a third-placed finish this season.

Al Ahli have lacked consistency at times, though, and will be hoping Saudi Arabian attacker Feras Al Buraikan can continue his impressive form after he struck the only goal in the derby against Al Ittihad – his 14th of the RSL campaign.

Al Wehda are fresh from snapping a seven-game winless streak with an impressive 2-1 triumph at Al Fayha. Brazilian midfielder Anselmo has three goals in his past two RSL appearances and will be the dangerman for the Mecca-based side.

Al Tai vs Al Shabab

After racing to a 2-0 lead against Al Taawoun, Al Tai will be deeply disappointed to have lost 3-2. Head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf is likely feeling the pressure and will be fully aware that a positive result is needed if his side are to stay within touching distance of 15th-placed Al Okhdood.

Al Shabab got the better of strugglers Al Riyadh in Matchweek 26 thanks to an own goal, but the second half introduction of Yannick Carrasco was a major boost for coach Vitor Pereira.

The unpredictability of the Belgian international gave Al Shabab a real edge in attack, and the former Atletico Madrid man could have a major role to play against Al Tai.

Al Ettifaq vs Al Riyadh

Steven Gerrard’s side failed to get a shot on target earlier this week as they lost away to Al Fateh. The former Liverpool captain will therefore be eager for his side to return to winning ways against Al Riyadh, who find themselves three points from the relegation zone.

The visitors are fighting for every point and are not without their own sparkle of Premier League quality. Jamaican international striker Andre Gray played for both Burnley and Watford, and should be determined to make the headlines in Dammam on Saturday evening.

Al Raed vs Al Hazem

Al Raed’s narrow defeat to Al Khaleej last time out halted a three-match undefeated streak that helped open up a five-point gap from the relegation zone. Moroccan attacker Karim El Berkaoui knows how to score goals at this level, and will be focused on adding to his 10 goals this season.

Bottom side Al Hazem make the short trip to Buraidah on Sunday knowing a victory is desperately needed if they are to beat the drop. Manager Jose Carreno will surely earmark this encounter as a must-win if Al Hazem are to somehow pull themselves out of trouble.

Faiz Selemani last found the net on February 29 as Al Hazem secured a point in a wild 4-4 draw away at Al Nassr. Indeed, it’s time for the Comoros international to step up again.

Abha vs Al Fateh

Fresh from a dispiriting 8-0 defeat to Al Nassr, Abha need to bounce back against Al Fateh. Pitso Mosimane’s side are two points from safety, and the South African will be pragmatic enough to set out his team not to lose on Sunday.

Fresh from his first RSL goal, against Al Riyadh, expect Guinean international Francois Kamano to play a telling role on the counter-attack.

After a rocky patch, it seems Al Fateh are clicking into gear for the business end of the season. The Al Ahsa side have a formidable attacking threat lead by former FC Barcelona winger Cristian Tello, who has been building an understanding with Armenian international Lucas Zelarayan. That relationship will be vital if Slaven Bilic’s team are to come away with the win.

Al Fayha vs Al Okhdood

Both teams suffered defeats in Matchweek 26 and will be looking to get back on track for different reasons. After a stellar start to 2024, Al Fayha have faltered somewhat with back-to-back defeats. Still, Abdelhamid Sabiri has been thriving in the frontline and will be set on increasing his tally of three goals this season.

Al Okhdood started the second half of the campaign with an eye-catching 3-2 win against Al Ahli. Since then, the Najran club have lost five of six RSL outings and are in real danger of going down.

As it is said, attack is often the best form of defence and, in Saviour Godwin, Al Okhdood has a tricky winger who can cause defenders plenty of problems. The Nigerian needs to step up, and quickly, to save his side.