Jaber al Ajmi –
Dec 1: Table-toppers Dhofar and Al Shabab face off in the key week clash to determine the winter supremacy in the Omantel Professional League (OPL). Al Oruba seek to return to winning ways when they take on Al Khabourah, while Jalan seek first OPL win against Al Rustaq.
All fixtures of week 13 will be played on Friday, December 2. In other matches, Al Nasr travel to Sohar, Fanja welcome Oman Club, Muscat face Al Suwaiq, while Saham play away against Al Nahda.
This week, all eyes will be at Seeb Stadium (16:45) as the leaders Dhofar clash with the second-placed Al Shabab. Dhofar, who have led the OPL since its first weeks, are two points clear of Al Shabab. Al Shabab lost two important points last week as they drew with Al Suwaiq, while Dhofar proved that they are serious title competitors when they edged Sohar 2-1. Despite the difficulties of predicting who will win the game, it will definitely be one of the most interesting games as both teams play a good attacking football.
At Sur Stadium, the third-placed Al Oruba seek to return to winning ways as they take on Al Khabourah at 19:45. The 22-point Al Oruba, have gone three games without a win, are required to win to keep hopes for the title, especially if Al Shabab-Dhofar encounter ends in a draw. Al Khabourah, who grabbed important three points last week against Jalan will search for the fourth victory this season in order to avoid the danger zone.
In a very thrilling game, Sohar will hope to improve their fourth place when they host Al Nasr who leapfrogged them last week. Al Nasr edged Al Nahda 1-0 to jump to fourth place with 21 points, while Sohar slumped to a 2-1 loss against Dhofar. Sohar had some administrative and technical problems last week, as they did not win in four consecutive games. Al Nasr, who quietly are approaching the top spot, are in a good form to come back to Salalah with full points in order to reach 24 points.
The high-flying Saham will be keen to continue their good show when they travel to Al Buraimi to play against Al Nahda. Saham were the lone team to have six points in last two OPL weeks, beating Jalan and Al Oruba. Shining veteran forward Mohammed al Gassani has been the highlight for Saham with seven goals in the campaign so far. Saham are in the sixth place with 18 points, while Al Nahda have 13 points. They also were excluded from His Majesty’s Cup as they engaged suspended player (Amor al Shatri) against Al Rustaq in the round of 32 .
At the bottom of the table, Jalan still seek their first victory in the OPL history as they host Al Rustaq at Sur Stadium. Jalan are the only team who did not win in the campaign, slumping to six defeats and six draws. Al Rustaq, who have gone four games without a defeat, will hope to get three points to stretch their gap over the danger zone.
In the other fixtures, nine-time winners Fanja are hosting Oman club in a crucial game as both of the teams are seeking three points to improve their situation. Oman club have 14 points, while Fanja are in the 10th place with 13 points only.
Muscat and Al Suwaiq also will hope to run away from the relegation zone when they face off at Sultan Qaboos Stadium. Al Suwaiq are in the 12th place with 12 points, while Muscat are 13th with 10 points.
Jaber al Ajmi –