Preview: Al-Nassr vs. Damac – prediction, team news, lineups – Sports Mole

Al-Nassr will hope to close the gap to the sides at the top of the Saudi Pro League when they take on Damac at Al Awal Park at King Saud University on Saturday evening.
The hosts are currently in third place in the league standings and three points behind league leaders Al-Hilal, while the visitors are in 10th place and three points above the drop zone after nine matches.

Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts on September 19, 2023© Reuters
After narrowly missing out on the title last season, Al-Nassr look determined to challenge for the top spot again this term and come into this match carrying excellent form and with solid momentum behind them.
The Knights of Najd played out a 2-2 draw against Abha before the international break, and while that did mark their 11th consecutive match without losing, it did bring an end to a 10-match winning streak in all competitions.
In their last match, Otavio gave his side the lead inside the first five minutes and Talisca doubled their advantage before the half-hour mark, but they were unable to hold on to the win after Sultan Al-Ghannam was sent off in the dying moments.
Despite dropping points in that game, Luis Castro will still be fairly content with his side’s attacking output, as they have now scored two or more goals in each of their last eight matches in all competitions and are the joint-highest scorers in the league with 26.
The Global One’s beat this opponent 3-0 last season, which was their fourth consecutive win over them, while they have also outscored Damac 11-2 during that time dating back to August 2021.
Meanwhile, Damac finished eighth in the Saudi top flight last season, but it looked like this campaign was going to be a very difficult one after they failed to win any of their first seven league matches.
However, after holding Al Hilal to a well-earned 1-1 draw last month, the visitors seem to have found top gear again and come into this fixture having won their last three, including a 2-1 victory over Al Qaisoma in the King’s Cup a few weeks ago.
Cosmin Contra‘s side have now recorded two wins, four draws and three losses in their nine matches, scoring 15 and conceding 15 in that time.
Before the international break, the Knight of the South secured their biggest win of the season, beating bottom club Al Hazm 4-1 at home, with Assan Ceesay, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Ahmed Al-Zain all getting on the scoresheet before Bruno Viana knocked in an own-goal.
Having failed to win in their last three visits to Riyadh, and with their opponents looking very dangerous in front of goal at the moment, Jabal Damac are likely to find it difficult to take anything from this one.

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Al Nassr coach Luis Castro reacts on September 19, 2023© Reuters
Castro will have to make do without the services of David Ospina, who is still recovering from an elbow injury, which should see Nawaf Alaqidi continue between the sticks for the hosts.
Al-Ghannam’s straight red in the last match means that he will start the first of his three-match suspension here, which should see either Nawaf Al-Boushal or Abdulelah Al-Amri start at full-back.
Cristiano Ronaldo has already netted 10 goals this season, making him the league’s top-scorer, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will almost certainly lead the line in this match.
After their solid performances before the break, the visitors are likely to remain unchanged for this match, with Tarek Hamed, Domagoj Antolic and Nicolae Stanciu providing the legs in the engine room.
Former Tottenham Hotspur man N’Koudou and forward partner Ceesay have both scored two goals in their last three matches and should continue in the attacking trio along with Al-Zain.

Al-Nassr possible starting lineup:
Alaqidi; Al-Boushal, Alawjami, Laporte, Telles; Brozovic, Al-Khaibari, Otavio, Talisca, Mane; Ronaldo
Damac possible starting lineup:
Zeghba; Hawsawi, Chafai, Bedrane, Al Anazi; Hamed, Antolic, Stanciu; Zain, Ceesay, N’Koudou

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While the visitors are enjoying an uptick in form, Al Nassr are scoring for fun lately, and the international break would have done them a world of good after a demanding few weeks. We are backing the hosts to win this one fairly comfortably.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.







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