Al-Nassr vs Al-Raed: Preview and Prediction

Al-Nassr will look to cut the gap on Al-Hilal at the top of the Saudi Pro League table when they welcome Al-Raed to the Al-Awwal Stadium at King Saud University.

Al-Nassr come into the game against Al-Raed on the back of suffering a disappointing 1-0 defeat to UAE Pro League side Al -Ain in the first-leg of their AFC Champions League quarter-final tie. It means they have much work to do at home next Monday if they are to progress to the semi-finals, where they would face one of their domestic rivals: Al-Hilal or Al-Ittihad.

Prior to that, Cristiano Ronaldo watched from the stands in disbelief as his side were held to a 4-4 draw at home against bottom-of-the-table Al-Hazm. Luis Castro’s side are now under a bit of pressure, as they have slipped nine points behind leader Al-Hilal.

Al-Raed, meanwhile, have collapsed down the table and now begin the weekend sitting just outside of the bottom three and the relegation spots. In their most recent game, they had Mathias Normann sent off as they went on to lose 2-1 at home against Al-Fayha.

Team News & Tactics


Al-Nassr remain without the services of three first-team goalkeeping options, with David Ospina and Raghed Al-Najjar both out. Meanwhile, Nawaf Al-Aqidi is serving a ban handed down by the Saudi Football Federation, meaning Waleed Abdullah will continue in between the sticks for this clash.

Cristiano Ronaldo was back in the Al-Nassr lineup on Monday night after serving a one-game Saudi Pro League suspension for gesturing towards opposing fans during a recent game. The Portuguese star will spearhead the attack here but will miss his partner-in-crime, Anderson Talisca, who picked up an anterior tendon injury that kept him sidelined in Al-Nassr’s Champions League defeat, and this will also see him miss Thursday’s clash.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed Thursday’s league game due to a ban, will return for this fixture, spearheading the attack for Al-Nassr against Al-Raed. The trio of Sadio Mane, Otavio, and Yahya will play behind the Portuguese, offering support.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Abdullah; Boushal, Al-Amri, Laporte, Telles; Al-Khaibari, Brozovic; Yahya, Mane, Otavio; Ronaldo


Al-Raed will be missing former Norwich City star Mathias Normann due to a one-match suspension after picking up a red card against Al-Feiha. Mohamed Fouzair should return to the starting lineup in place of Normann against his former club.

In 18 league game appearances, Fouzair boasts five goals and two assists. Julio Tavares and the club’s top scorer, Karim El Berkaoui, should start in front once again, with the strike duo firing 11 goals combined so far this season.

Probable Lineup (5-3-2): Moreira; Al Jayzani, Loum, Gonzalez, Al Rajeh, Al Dosari; Fouzair, Al Beshe, Al Subaie; Tavares, El Berkaoui

Key Stats

  • Al-Nassr are unbeaten in their last ten league games on home soil (W8 D2).
  • Al-Raed have been poor defensively of late, conceding at least twice in three of their last four matches.
  • Al-Nassr have lost only one of their last six games (W4 D1 L1).
  • Al-Raed have no win in their last three league matches, losing two of them.
  • Three of Al-Nassr’s last four league games at home produced at least four goals.

Player to Watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

Embed from Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return will be a huge boost for the Knights of Najd. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is the most prolific goalscorer in the division, having already netted 22 goals in the competition. Given that the Portuguese phenom failed to find the net in the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League, he will be chomping at the bit to score in this one.


Al-Nassr 3-0 Al-Raed

Al-Nassr are a star-studded side consisting of players with a huge wealth of experience; they have also been imperious at home this season. The visitors will try their best to hold their own here. But having won just once in their last 11 away league games this season, there is not much in way of hope for them. The Hard Tackle expect the hosts to win this match in impressive fashion.

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