03 may 10:49
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ACL MD6 - GROUP D: AL AIN V NASAF PREVIEW

Tags :  NasafAl Ain
Al Ain: Mohamed Abdulrahman Al is expected to return to the starting line-up for Al Ain’s must-win meeting with Uzbekistan’s Nasaf in the 2016 AFC Champions League on Tuesday as Zlatko Dalic’s side fight to keep their dream of a place in the knockout phase alive.

Attacking midfielder Abdulrahman (pictured left against El Jaish) has yet to score in the group stage and missed the 1-1 draw between the teams in Uzbekistan on Matchday Five due to suspension but will be available after serving a one-game ban.

Al Ain are in second place in Group D on seven points and just one point ahead of third placed Al Ahli from Saudi Arabia with Nasaf, harbouring their own slim ambitions to advance, a further point adrift.

“We have a big challenge ahead of us because we must get the three points in order to get the second ticket from the group,” said coach Dalic, whose team lost 3-2 against Fujairah in the domestic league on Friday.

“The draw in the previous [ACL] match [against Nasaf] gave us an important point because it was against a strong team.

“We have prepared well for and hopefully we can score early tomorrow in order to control the match. We need to play with good organisation in order to achieve our target, which is the three points.”

Nasaf are bottom of the group but, with five points from their first five games in the group stage of this year’s competition, are only two points behind Al Ain and coach Ruziqul Berdiev is setting his sights on victory against the 2003 winners.

“We know the weaknesses and strengths of our opponents. They are a good side and we respect them because they are one of the strongest teams in the UAE,” said Berdiev.

“The match will be very hard but we will be fighting in order to achieve our target.

“We came here with only one thing on our minds and that is to win the match and qualify. We know that the match will not be easy because we are playing against a strong team and in front of their fans. But we are hoping that we will put in a strong performance and get the three points.”

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