Preview: Al Tai vs. Al Wahda – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Saudi Pro League clash between Al Tai and Al Wahda, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides who struggled in during the final stretch of last season meet in the Saudi Pro League on Thursday, when Al Tai host Al Wahda.

The two clubs met in the top tier for the first time since 2008 last season, with Al Wahda coming out on top on both occasions by a single-goal margin.

Match preview

After an opening day 1-0 success over Damac raised spirits following a woeful finish to the 2022-23 campaign, Al Tai fell to defeat at the weekend.

A 2-0 defeat to champions Al Ittihad was to be expected though, and was also a repeat of the scoreline when the two sides met on the final day last season.

That did see them round off their campaign with five losses from five though, but despite taking just 34 points from 30 matches, Al Tai finished in ninth.

The lob-sided nature of the league was evident, and the huge spending seen by the PIF-backed clubs may mean this margin gets even bigger.

Al Tai have nowhere near the financial might of the top clubs, so their aim will be to maintain a healthy position in mid-table again like last season.

The arrival of Virgil Misidjan from Twente looks set to be a notable one though, as the Dutch winger scored nine Eredivisie goals in helping his club qualify for Europe last season.

After two matches, visitors Al Wahda also have three points on the board, after responding well to an opening day defeat with a fine 3-1 win over Al Shabab.

Manager George Donis had goalkeeper Abdulquddus Atiah to thank though, as he saved two Al Shabab penalties on their way to claiming victory.

It was the perfect response after losing to newly-promoted Al Riyadh in their opening fixture of the season.

Al Wahda have made two notable additions to the squad, with Odion Ighalo and Moroccan World Cup star Jawad El Yamiq both signing last week.

El Yamiq made his debut off the bench against Al Shabab and rather unfortunately scored an own goal in stoppage time, but it did not affect the result.

The club will hope those two additions can help them to improve drastically on a disappointing campaign last season.

Finishing fourth-bottom as the league’s lowest scorers with 26 was underwhelming, but a run to the domestic cup final gave the supporters something to look back on.

They even led until the ninth minute of stoppage time in the final, but a late equaliser was followed by a 7-6 defeat on penalties to Al Hilal.

Al Tai Saudi Pro League form:

Al Wahda Saudi Pro League form:

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Team News

New signings Robert Bauer and Enzo Roco are set to start as Al Tai’s centre-back pairing for this encounter.

Fellow new faces Misidjan and Bernard Mensah will also look to provide some explosiveness in attack, as well as a keen eye for goal.

Former Benfica, Nottingham Forest and Reading Alfa Semedo should start as the sole holding midfielder for the hosts.

Donis could give Ighalo his Al Wahda debut here following his move from Al Hilal last week.

Despite his unfortunate own goal on debut, El Yamiq should also come into the side at centre-back, and would join his Moroccan compatriot Faycal Fajr in the side.

Al Tai possible starting lineup:
Victor Braga; Alnakhli, Bauer, Roco, Salem; Alfa Semedo, Mensah, Abdullah; Asiri, Shamlan, Misidjan

Al Wahda possible starting lineup:
Atiah; Al Muwallad, Bakshween, Al Hafith, Hawsawi; Noor, Al Haji, Fajr, Al Eisa; Al Ghamdi, Anselmo

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We say: Al Tai 1-1 Al Wahda

There was not much to separate the sides last season despite Al Wahda’s two victories, and there was not much to split them in terms of points so a close game could be in store.

However, if the visitors can get Ighalo fit and on the pitch, that may give them a slight edge, given his record of 52 league goals in 71 matches in four years in Saudi.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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