Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Muscat: Omar Zeineddine will return for Salam Zgharta as the Lebanese side aim for back-to-back wins over Oman’s Al Nahda when the pair face off in Group A of the AFC Cup on Tuesday evening.
Zeineddine (in red shirt) missed the 2-1 win in Zgharta due to suspension but is clear to return to Pieter Meindertsma’s starting line-up, although Mouhamad Arnaout is not available for the Dutchman after his sending off in the previous meeting between the teams.
“The match will be very important for our run in the competition as our only target is to win the match in order to continue battling for one of the two tickets,” said Meindertsma, whose side handed Ikhaa Ahli a 3-0 defeat in the Lebanese league in their most recent match.
“We have fixed the mistakes we made in our recent matches and hopefully we can avoid any mistakes against Al Nahda.
“Al Nahda are an excellent team as their players have good experience in addition to a lot of talent. We are ready for the match although it will not be easy because our opponents are playing at home and they will be looking to avenge their defeat in the previous match.”
Both teams are level on three points, three adrift of group leaders Al Wahda and second-placed Al Wahdat, who face off against one another in Group A on Wednesday evening in Zarqa. Only two teams will advance to the Round of 16 and victory for either side will enhance their hopes of progressing.
Al Nahda will have Abdul Khaliq Fayil available after his suspension but Mohamed Lahfidhi remains on the sidelines after his sending off against Al Wehdat on Matchday Two.
“Our aim is to get the three points from the match but our main concern this season is the league as we are currently battling to avoid relegation,” said Portuguese coach Bernardo Tavares, whose side are 12th in the 14-team Oman league after losing 2-1 to Al Khaboura on Saturday.
“Despite this, we will put a lot of effort to win the match against Salam Zgharta.
“We generally create a lot of scoring chances but we are not able to score a lot of goals. In addition, our players usually lack concentration but hopefully we can improve in the next matches in order to get positive results.”