PREVIEW: Roshn Saudi League matchweek 34

It is the final matchday of the Roshn Saudi League season, and the focus will firmly be on the bottom of the standings. Two teams from Al Okhdood, Al Tai, Abha and Al Riyadh can be relegated to the First Division League, so expect plenty of drama and late twists and turns. Higher up the table, Al Taawoun and Al Ittihad are fighting it out for fourth place and a spot in the AFC Champions League 2.



Al Shabab vs Al Fateh

Key Stat 

Al Fateh have lost just one of their last six RSL games against Al Shabab (W3 D2), having lost each of the three games against them prior to this run.


Players to Watch

Carlor Junior - Al-Shabab: The Brazilian has made five goal contributions off the bench in the RSL this season (4 goals, 1 assist), the outright most by any substitute. A goal would certainly be welcomed as the side from Riyadh look to end the campaign on a high. 

Nicolae Stanciu celebrates scoring for Romania v Ukraine Euro 2024

Lucas Zelarayan - Al Fateh: The Armenian international has created 28 chances from open play in the RSL since the start of 2024, the second highest of any player in this span (Michael – 30). Can he add to that tally on the final day of the season?

Did you know? 

Al Shabab have scored in each of their last 12 RSL home games against Al Fateh; indeed, it is Al Shabab’s longest streak of such games against any opponent in the RSL era.

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Al Wehda vs Al Hilal

Key Stat

Al Hilal are unbeaten in their last 35 games in the RSL (W32 D3), the longest unbeaten run for any team in the competition in the Pro League era. Avoiding defeat on Monday will see Al Hilal go through the whole season unbeaten for the first time since last doing so in 2010-11 season.

Players to Watch 

Munir Mohamedi - Al Wehda: Since the start of 2024, Al Wehda custodian Munir Mohamedi has made 34 saves against shots from inside the box in the RSL the most of any goalkeeper in this period; Mohamedi has aggregated a save percentage of 61.8% against such shots this calendar year. The Moroccan will have to be at his very best to keep Al Hilal out on Monday.


Saud Abdulhamid - Al Hilal: The right-back has been ever present this season and has completed 38.8% of his attempted open play crosses in the RSL (50/129 open play crosses completed), the highest such rate for any player to have attempted at least 40 such crosses this season. Could this be the difference maker in unlocking a stubborn Al Wehda backline? 


Did you know?

Al Hilal have only conceded two headed goals in the RSL this season, the fewest of all teams.

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Al Ahli vs Al Fayha

Key Stat

Al Fayha are the only team to have not scored a single goal from corners in the 2023-24 RSL season; on the contrary, Al Ahli are the only team to not concede a single goal from corners in the competition this season.

Players to Watch

Roberto Firmino: Al Ahli - After a frustrating 0-0 draw at Al Raed, Firmino will be looking to end his debut season on the front foot. The former Liverpool man has found the back of the net on eight occasions this campaign and will be looking for one more against Al Fayha. 

Fashon Sakala: Al Fayha - You can make an argument that the Zambian has been the signing of the season especially when you consider he has scored 12 goals in the RSL in the calendar year. That includes an impressive run of a goal in each of his last seven consecutive games. Don’t be surprised if Sakala strikes against Al Ahli.

Did you know?

Al Ahli recorded their biggest ever win against Al Fayha in the RSL in the reverse fixture this season, winning 4-0. 

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Al Nassr vs Al Ittihad


Key Stat 

Al Ittihad have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last six away matches in the RSL, last doing so in a 3-0 win at Al Tai; the last time they went on a longer such run was a stretch of 19 matches between October 2020 and October 2021.

Players to watch

Sadio Mane: Al Nassr - The Senegalese attacker has recorded a total of 241 touches in the opposition box in the ongoing RSL  season, the highest amount in the division. Don’t be shocked to see Mane sign off the campaign with a goal involvement. 

Jota - Al Ittihad: Something has to give for the Portuguese attacker who has created 25 chances in the RSL so far this season, the most by any player yet to register an assist in the campaign. Can he make a difference against Al Nassr on Monday night?

Did you know?

Al Nassr have recorded 754 touches per game in the ongoing RSL season, the highest average of any team in the competition.

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Damac vs Al Raed

Key Stat

Damac have failed to keep a clean sheet against Al Raed in any of their four home matches against the latter in the RSL since the start of 2008-09, losing three and winning just one in the process.

Players to Watch

Georges Kevin N'Koudou - Damac: No win in their last five RSL games for the side from Khamis Mushait. Perhaps the Cameroonian, who was such a crucial component in Damac playing so well, can end his campaign with a goal.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou Damac v Al Ittihad RSL 2023-24 MW16

 

Oumar Gonzalez - Al-Raed: The Cameroon international has recorded 25 blocks in the RSL this season, the joint second highest in the competition. Gonzalez will have to be at his best to keep out a Damac side who are not shy in taking a shot!

Did you know?

Al Raed have made 392 headed clearances in the 2023-24 RSL season so far, the highest among all teams in the competition.

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Al Taawoun vs Al Ettifaq

Key Stat

Al Taawoun are without a win in each of their last four home games against Al Ettifaq in the RSL, their longest such run in the competition. The last time they won such a game was in February 2019.

Players to Watch

Aschraf El Mahdioui - Al Taawoun: A vital presence at the heart of the Wolves midfield. The Moroccan has attempted 2,515 passes over the course of this season’s Saudi Pro League, the highest among all players in the competition; in fact, the 2,335 passes he successfully completed is also the highest by any player this term.

Alvaro Medran - Al Ettifaq: The Spanish midfielder traded Al Taawoun for Al Ettifaq in the winter transfer window and hasn't looked back. His range of passing and delivery from set pieces has pushed his new side to a next level, and he will be eyeing a few more goal involvements against his former employers. 

Did you know?

Al Ettifaq have won three penalties in the RSL, the lowest of all teams this term.

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Al Hazem vs Abha

Key Stat

Al Hazem are winless in each of their last two meetings with Abha (D1 L1) in the RSL; if they fail to win this game, it will be their longest winless run against Abha in the competition since 2008-09.

Players to Watch

Faiz Selemani - Al-Hazem: The Comoros international has accumulated an expected assists value of 2.43 in the RSL since the start of 2024, the highest by any player yet to provide an assist.


Fabian Noguera - Abha: Fresh from scoring a stoppage time winner against Al Khaleej, Noguera will be raring to go against Al Hazem. The Argentinian defender will be a threat from set pieces, and will be likely pushed forward if Abha need to secure a win to stay in the division.

Did you know?

Abha are unbeaten in each of their last four home games in the RSL (W3 D1), with their sole draw in this stretch being a goalless draw against Damac (10 May 2024); the last time Abha went on a longer such run was a stretch of five games (W3 D2) between March and May in 2023. A win on Monday could cap off a miraculous great escape for Pitso Mosimane’s team.

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Al Tai vs Al Okhdood

Key Stat

Al Tai are unbeaten in each of their last three home games in the RSL (W1 D2), with a 3-1 win in the most recent such game (vs Al Fateh on 16 May 2024); the last time Al Tai went on a longer such unbeaten run was a stretch of nine games (W6 D3) between February and October in 2022.

Players to watch

Alfa Semedo - Al-Tai: The former Nottingham Forest midfielder has attempted 30 shots in the RSL since the start of 2024, the highest among players yet to score a goal. A goal would be very much welcomed if Al Tai are to survive in the RSL.

Leandre Tawamba celebrating an Al Okhdood win



Leandre Tawamba - Al Okhdood: It’s looking precarious for the side from Narjan, who need a win and other results to go their way if they are to survive. Their major issue has been scoring enough goals, veteran Tawamba could cement himself as a cult hero at the club if he can fire his team to safety. 


Did you know?

Al Okhdood have conceded nine goals in their last five away games in the RSL, thrice as many as they have scored (3) in the same span.

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Al Khaleej vs Al Riyadh

Key Stat

Al Riyadh are unbeaten in each of their last five games in the ongoing season of the RSL (W1 D4), having registered draws in each of their last four; in fact, this is the longest streak of draws by any side in the 2023-24 season.

Players to watch

Khaled Narey - Al Khaleej: No win in the last eight RSL outings for Al Khaleej. Togo international Narey will be looking to add to his tally of seven goals this season to end the campaign on a high.

 

Yahya Al Shehri - Al Riyadh: The veteran playmaker provided an ingenious assist as his side held Al Nassr to a 2-2 draw last time out. Three points will all but assure Al Riyadh’s place in the league for next season, and Al Shehri could provide that moment of magic for his side.

Did you know?

This will be Al Khaleej’s second meeting with Al Riyadh in the RSL, having won the previous clash by a 1-0 margin (16 December 2023); if Al-Khaleej win, this would be their first league double of the season.