Al Ain vs Shabab Al-Ahli preview, prediction, team news and more | Etisalat Cup final 2022

Shabab Al-Ahli are looking to defend their UAE League Cup
Shabab Al-Ahli are looking to defend their UAE League Cup

UAE giants Al Ain and Shabab Al-Ahli lock horns at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Wednesday for the 2022 Etisalat Cup final.

Al-Ahli are the defending champions but haven't beaten Al Ain in two previous clashes this season, even losing 1-0 on Saturday in the league.

It's their fourth consecutive appearance in the showpiece and they are aiming to become the first side in the competition's history to successfully defend their title.

Meanwhile, Al Ain's only league title came in the 2008-09 season when they beat Al Wahda 1-0 in the finals. Al Ain lost the 2011 showpiece to Al Shabab.

Al Ain vs Shabab Al-Ahli Head-To-Head

The sides have already clashed twice in the league this season and Al-Ahli are winless in both fixtures.

They drew 1-1 back in October before Al Ain pulled off a slender 1-0 win last Saturday.

The Dubai outfit are hoping to make it third time lucky.

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Al Ain Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-D-D

Shabab Al-Ahli Form Guide (all competitions): L-D-W-W-D

Al Ain vs Shabab Al-Ahli Team News

Al Ain

Manager Serhii Rebrov might field the same XI that beat Al-Ahli last weekend.

Yassine Meriah is the only notable absentee in the squad with a cruciate ligament rupture.

Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba was sent off on Saturday but his suspension only applies in the league, which means he's available for the cup final.

Injured: Yassine Meriah

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

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Shabab Al-Ahli

Mahdi Ali has a clean bill of health but may opt to make a few changes from their last defeat.

Mohammed Jumaa could add more firepower to the XI, while Omar Abdulrahman is also gunning to start.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Al Ain vs Shabab Al-Ahli Predicted XI

Al Ain (4-2-3-1): Khalid Eisa; Bandar Al-Ahbabi, Danilo Arboleda, Kouame Autonne, Saeed Juma; Ahmed Barman, Mohammed Abbas; Caio Canedo, Cristian Guanca, Soufiane Rahimi; Kodjo Laba.

Shabab Al-Ahli (4-2-3-1): Majed Naser; Abdulaziz Haikal, Mohammed Marzooq, Mohammed Jaber, Yousif Jaber; Abdullah Al-Naqbi, Ahmad Nourollahi; Yuri Cรฉsar, Mehdi Ghayedi, Hareb Abdullah; Yahya Al Ghassani.

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Al Ain vs Shabab Al-Ahli Prediction

Al-Ahli have more experience of playing in finals, which holds them in good stead, but Al Ain have been in better form lately.

Given it's a final, the sides could opt for a more cautious approach but we're expecting Al Ain to narrowly prevail.

Prediction: Al Ain 1-0 Shabab Al-Ahli

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Edited by Peter P
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