Focus: The Relegation Battle

The Roshn Saudi League relegation battle will go down to the wire with four teams fighting it out for two places just above the relegation zone. Al Okhdood, Al Tai, Abha and Al Riyadh are all in the mix heading into the final day. Let’s try and break it all down.

Firstly, it’s important to note the breakdown of the rules for classification on the final day. 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head points; 3) Head-to-head goal difference; 4) Total goal difference; 5) Total goals scored; 6) Fair-play points.

So should teams be level on points, we will go to their head-to-head records and through all the various rules until the sides are separated.

Al Okhdood - 17th Place - 30 points

Things are looking perilous for the side from Narjan heading into the final day. They face direct rivals Al Tai, knowing that a victory along with Abha or Al Riyadh dropping points is the only way that they can survive. One plus point for coach Noureddine Zekri is that his side has the best goal difference of the quartet on -21 and could be a decisive factor if this goes to the wire.

Al Tai - 16th Place - 31 points

Just a point better off than their final day opponents, Al Tai need results elsewhere to go their way if they are able to beat the drop. It’s also important to note that if Abha and Al Riyadh win their respective games both Al Okhood and Al Tai will be relegated.

On a positive note, the side from Ha’il are unbeaten in their last three outings at the Prince Abdulaziz bin Musa'ed Stadium, and that could be the difference in this crunch clash. In Bernard Mensah, Al Tai have a player who is capable of a moment of magic, and the Ghanaian could make all the difference on Monday evening.

Abha - 15th Place - 32 points

Just a point above the relegation zone, Abha have their fate in their hands. They take on already relegated Al Hazem, knowing that a victory will confirm their place in the RSL for next season. That’s down to an upturn in form masterminded by coach Pitso Mosimane which has seen the side pick up two wins and a draw from their last four league outings. One final victory and Abha will be safe and seal one of the greatest escapes in RSL history.

Al Riyadh - 14th Place - 32 Points

Odair Hellmann’s team are just ahead of Abha by virtue of a better goal difference. Just like Abha the equation is relatively straight forward. Get a victory at mid-table Al Khaleej and the job is done. Al Riyadh have timed their run to perfection, and are undefeated in their last five RSL outings, drawing four consecutive games in a row. Now survival is in sight, and even a point could be enough, depending on the results of Abha and the game between Al Tai and Al Okhdood.