Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr will square off against local rivals and league leaders Al Hilal in a battle of the heavyweight in the Saudi Pro League on December 1, Friday at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Hilal is currently four points clear of Nassr after 14 matches, and won its last 13 matches in all competitions and has scored over 40 goals. The Blue Waves are without their star man Neymar, who is out injured, but they have a lot of firepower to keep their winning run intact.
Hilal’s Serbian strike Aleksandar Mitrovic has taken the league by storm, scoring 11 goals from 12 matches, the former Fulham man is just behind Cristiano Ronaldo (15) in the league’s goalscoring chart.
Al Nassr on the other hand, has won eight consecutive matches in all competitions and will look to bridge the gap at the top of the standings.
The only worry for Luis Castro will be the fitness of his star man Cristiano Ronaldo, who was substituted in the last match against Persepolis. The 38-year-old was in discomfort after a collision with the Iranian side’s goalkeeper in AFC Champions League.
Al Hilal has dropped points just twice this season in the Saudi Pro League. It has kept clean sheets in six of its last seven league outings while scoring 22 goals and is expected to enjoy another prolific outing.
Jorge Jesus’ side has an abundance of attacking talent despite Neymar’s absence (out with an ACL injury) including Mitrovic, Malcom and others. Defensively, it also has conceded just eight goals in 14 league games.
On the other hand, Al Nassr is unbeaten in all competitions since back-to-back losses in the Saudi Pro League in August. Ronaldo’s side has won 18 of its last 20 games in all competitions and will look to extend the unbeaten run.
Luis Castro’s team failed to score for the first time in 20 games in its draw against Persepolis on Monday in the AFC Champions League. With Ronaldo and Mane leading the line, the visitors should look to return to goalscoring ways.
Both teams head into the match in terrific form, the home advantage for Al Hilal should come in handy while Al Nassr will be determined to close the gap between the two. We predict an entertaining stalemate between the local rivals with plenty of goals.
Score Prediction: Al Hilal 2-2 Al Nassr
Al Hilal - Bounou; Koulibaly, Al Burayk, Al Bulayhi, Abdulhamid; Neves, Kanno, Michael; Al Qahtani, Mitrovic, Malcom
Al Nassr - Alaqidi; Al-Boushal, Alawjami, Laporte, Telles; Brozovic, Fofana, Otavio; Talisca, Ronaldo, Mane
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