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Fifth-placed Al Ettifaq will host ninth-placed Al Taee in the Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium as Steven Gerrard’s men look to chase down the league leaders. The onus will be on former Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum to dictate proceedings. The game is scheduled for September 21 and will kick off at 4 PM UK time.
Al Ettifaq vs Al Taee predicted lineups and team news
Steven Gerrard’s side have found form in the Saudi Pro League as they have won four out of their last six games, with striker Moussa Dembélé finding goalscoring form. The men from Damman are still unbeaten in their home games so far this season. However, fans will be expecting a bit more from their attacker to provide some exciting football.
Al Taee on the other hand have had a shaky start to the season, winning just two games from the first six. Bernard Mensah has been the one bright spot for the Knights of The North as they suffer from a severe goal drought. Krešimir Režić’s men are the lowest-scoring team in the division with just three goals.
Team news: Al Ettifaq
Vitinho and Marcel Tisserand will be big misses for the Henderson-led team, as they are both out with slight niggles. Gerrard is likely to continue with his tired and tested 4-3-3 formation; Ali Hazazi and Wijnaldum will flank captain Henderson in a three-man midfield.
Robin Quaison will be a goal threat from the flank. Former Fulham forward Dembélé will be looking to add to his impressive tally of four goals from five games in the league.
Al Ettifaq predicted lineup (4-3-3)
Victor; Otaibi, Hendry, Al-Khateeb, Al Shamrani; Hazazi, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Al-Ghamdi, Quaison; Dembele
Team news: Al Taee
While Režić is likely to keep faith in his favoured, rigid 4-2-3-1 formation, there may be some tactical tweaks. Virgil Misidjan is an injury doubt and this game might come too soon for him. Alfra Semedo will have to be at his best in the pivot role if Al Taee is to have any chance.
Al Taee have the league’s meanest defence led by German defender Robert Bauer, but they will be up for a tough battle against a strong Ettifaq attack as well.
Al Taee predicted lineup (4-2-3-1)
Braga; Al Nakhli, Bauer, Roco, Qassem; Semedo, Mohammed, Corea, Al-Shamlan, Mensah; Dugandzic
Will Jordan Henderson start?
Steven Gerrard will have to assess the fatigue levels of his captain and star man Jordan Henderson as the 33-year-old was away for International duty with England. His all-action playing style means that anything less than a full tank could be running the risk of injury.
Back with the boys 😁⚽️ pic.twitter.com/SMgnzmXk02
— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) September 6, 2023
However, Ettifaq are unlikely to go into such a massive fixture without their skipper, so we might see Henderson start and be withdrawn early, especially if they can close the game early. Wijnaldum will have to take additional responsibility in place of his former Liverpool teammate.
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