Al-Nassr vs Al-Ittihad: Preview and Prediction

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr are all set to host rivals Al-Ittihad in their final Saudi Pro League fixture of the season.

The Al Awal Park at King Saud University will play host to the fixture between PIF-owned rivals Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad on Monday night. The home team are certain to finish second on the points table irrespective of the end result here, while the visitors do have a chance of breaking into the top four.

Al-Nassr have failed to compete with high-flying Al-Hilal who have been unbeaten throughout the season and sit comfortably at the top of the points table. Despite having a star-studded squad, the home team have failed to challenge for the league title and are currently second with 79 points in their 33 outings.

While the home team have been unbeaten in their last seven games across the competition, they are heading into it on the back of two consecutive draws in the Saudi Pro League and will have to be more clinical in front of goal to get all three points here.

Al-Ittihad are currently fifth on the points table with 54 points in their 33 outings. Even if they end up losing this away fixture, they will finish fifth as they have a six-point advantage over sixth-placed club Al-Ettifaq. While a defeat won’t hamper their final position, a win could see them climb into the top four.

After suffering four consecutive defeats across competitions, the visitors have been unbeaten in their last two outings, and they are heading into this one on the back of a 4-1 win over Damac. It was a dominant performance and they will hope something similar against the second-best team in the division. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics


Aymeric Laporte is suspended for this fixture after picking up a red card last time out. Anderson Talisca and Mohammed Maran are out injured and won’t be available. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Nawaf Al-Aqidi is serving his five-month suspension.

The home team will line up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with David Ospina in goal. Sultan Al-Ghannam and Alex Telles will be the full-backs, while Ali Lajami and Abdulelah Al-Amri will feature in the heart of the defence. Abdullah Al-Khaibari will be the defensive midfielder in front of the back line. He will look to provide support to the backline.

Marcelo Brozovic and Otavio will feature as the two central midfielders, with Ayman Yahya and Sadio Mane featuring out wide on the flanks. The duo will provide width to their attacks and look to help out their full-backs when needed. Finally, skipper Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line for Al-Nassr against Al-Ittihad.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Ospina; Al Ghanam, Lajami, Al-Amri, Telles; Al-Khaibari; Yahya, Brozovic, Otavio, Mane; Ronaldo

Al-Nassr vs Al-Ittihad predicted XI


The visitors will be without the services of Abderrazak Hamdallah, Ahmed Hegazi, Luiz Felipe, Fabinho, Abdullah Al-Mayouf and Omar Hawsawi. Apart from the seven, Karim Benzema is also unavailable, having missed their last six games amidst rumours of potential departure from the Middle East in the summer.

Al-Ittihad will line up in a 4-3-3 formation, where Mohammed Al-Mahasneh will be in goal. Fawaz Al Saqour and Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti will be the full-backs, while Saad Al-Mousa and Hassan Kadesh will feature in the heart of the defence.

In the centre of the park, N’Golo Kante and Awad Al Nashri will start alongside Faisel Al-Ghamdi. The trio will look to control the tempo and ensure Al-Nassr midfielders do not end up dictating the proceedings. Jota and Ahmed Al-Ghamdi will provide the width to their attacks, while Talal Haji will be leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Mahasnah; Al Yami, Al Mosa, Kadesh, Al-Shanqeeti; Kante, Al Nashri, Faisel Al-Ghamdi; Jota, Haji, Ahmed Al-Ghamdi

Al-Nassr vs Al-Ittihad predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Al-Ittihad have been unbeaten in their last two outings after suffering four defeats in a row.
  • After being on a five-match winning run, Al-Nassr have been winless in their last two outings.
  • Al-Nassr smashed Al-Ittihad 5-2 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
  • The hosts are all set to finish second in the SPL for the second consecutive season.
  • Ronaldo’s team have the second-best attack in the division having scored 96 goals in 33 outings.

Player to Watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

Embed from Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo is still one of the best forwards in world football; the 39-year-old is all set to collect the Golden Boot award for most goals in the SPL after the end of the final fixture, having scored 33 in his 30 outings. He is just one behind the league’s all-time record for most goals in a season and will surely look for a brace to shatter another record. With 33 goals and 11 assists in his 30 league outings, CR7 is the one to watch out for.


Al-Nassr 3-1 Al-Ittihad

Al-Ittihad have bounced back after suffering four consecutive defeats, while Al-Nassr have been consistent performers throughout. Unlike the reverse fixture, things are expected to be much closer this time around. But given the kind of form the home team have been in, they do have the upper hand. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for Al-Nassr.

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