Al Shabab set for Al Nasr challenge, Al Suwaiq eye win

Jaber al Ajmi –
MUSCAT, Sept 20 –
Leaders Al Shabab and Al Nasr face off in the key clash of Omantel League (OL) week 3. Al Suwaiq will have a chance to continue their perfect start when they host newcomers Al Mudhaibi, while a thrilling derby is expected to be at Sohar Stadium between high-flying Al Salam and Sohar.
All fixtures will be played on Thursday, September 21. Mirbat will host Fanja, Saham travel to face Muscat, Al Nahdha take on Oman club, while Dhofar meet Al Oruba.
Who will emphasise their priority to be title candidate this season? The crucial game of Al Shabab and Al Nasr will give us the answer when they kick off the round at Seeb Stadium at 17:40. Al Nasr, Al Shabab and Al Suwaiq are the only three OL teams with a 100-per cent perfect start as they won their previous two games. Last week, Al Shabab came back with important three points from Salalah giants Dhofar, which will give them a strong surge to overcome Al Nasr. Al Nasr, on the other hand, showed a good play of style, scoring four goals and conceding null. It is also a challenge between Al Shabab manager Ali al Khanbashi and Al Nasr’s Hamza al Jamal. Ali al Khanbashi will miss his flying winger Jamil al Yahmidi who was sent off against Dhofar.
Al Suwaiq manager Belaci will eye three points against struggling Al Mudhaibi. The three points will give him a chance to lead the table alone if Al Shabab vs Al Nasr game ends in a draw. All indicators clear that, Al Suwaiq are in an open way towards winning the game. Al Mudhaibi still did not find themselves in their first season ever in OL, losing twice against Al Shabab and Al Nasr. Al Mudhaibi’s young local manager Anwar al Habsi is having a tough time, facing three best teams in the first three weeks. However, he has to improve his team if they do not want to go back again to the First Division League.
While Al Mudhaibi did not find themselves yet, the other promoted team Al Salam will hope to continue their unbelievable start when they host Sohar in Al Batinah derby at Sohar Stadium. It kicks off at 20:45. Al Salam shocked all football pundits, drew with Al Oruba in the first week and defeated Fanja 2-1 away in week two. Sohar, who failed to produce a good performance yet, will look to grab first victory in the campaign.
At Salalah Stadium, Dhofar will hope to return to winning ways against Al Oruba. It is a big clash between two of the important title candidates going by their history in the competition. The thriller will be a good test for Al Oruba who did not face a strong team yet. They drew 0-0 with Al Salam and then defeated Mirbat 2-0. On the other side, the position of the Dhofar’s Romanian manager Florin might be in a threat if he does not win the game.
Muscat host resurgent Saham in a bid to record their first win after two draws. It might not be easy for Muscat as Saham thrashed Al Nahdha 4-2 last week, thanks to veteran Mohammed al Gasani’s hat-trick. The game kicks off at 18:35 at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
In the last fixture, Al Nahdha will host Oman club at Al Buraimi Stadium, hoping to come back to winning ways. In this stadium, Al Nahdha came back from behind to defeat Sohar 3-2.