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Saudi Pro League | Gameweek 14
Nov 24, 2023 at 6pm UK
King Saud University Stadium
Al Okhdood

Preview: Al-Nassr vs. Al Okhdood - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Saudi Pro League clash between Al-Nassr and Al Okhdood, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides fighting at opposite ends of the Saudi Pro League table will meet on Friday, as Al-Nassr welcome Al Okhdood to  Al-Awwal Park.

On the back of four straight victories, the hosts sit second, four points behind leaders Al-Hilal, while the visitors moved within a point of safety with a crucial victory before the international break.

Match preview

Al Nassr coach Luis Castro reacts on November 4, 2023© Reuters

Al-Nassr will return from the international break on Friday with the aim of closing the gap in their pursuit of top spot in the Saudi Pro League, as they find themselves four points behind league leaders Al-Hilal after 13 league outings.

That is despite them losing each of their first two top-flight outings this term, with Luis Castro's side having since put an 11-game unbeaten run together while only dropping points on one occasion.

Following six straight league wins, across which they scored 23 goals, and a disappointing 2-2 draw with Abha in early October, the Knights of Najd return to action on Friday having won four further Pro League games on the bounce and seven in all competitions, starting with triumphs over Damac, Al Fayha and Al Khaleej, before beating Al-Duhail 3-2 away from home to continue their perfect AFC Champions League group-stage record thanks to Talisca's hat-trick.

Castro's men were then back in top-flight action prior to the recent international break in a trip to Al Wahda, and they succeeded in putting another three-point haul on the board, scoring a 3-1 victory as they initially went three goals ahead through Alex Telles, Abdulelah Al-Amri and Cristiano Ronaldo.

With leaders Al-Hilal also rarely faltering in the Pro League this season, Al-Nassr do remain four points off top spot in second place in their bid to regain the top-flight title, and they will aim to apply further pressure on their return to action with a fifth straight victory on Friday.

Al-Akhdoud's Andrei Burca celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 14, 2023© Reuters

In their way stand an Al Okhdood side who are heavily involved in a fight at the other end of the division, with the visitors still finding themselves in the relegation zone on their return to action.

After winning promotion to the Saudi Pro League for the first time in their history last time around, the Najran outfit certainly experienced a tough start to the new campaign, as they managed just seven points from their first 12 outings.

Following their second victory of the term in late September, their difficult opening run culminated in four consecutive league defeats, across which they conceded 10 goals while only scoring three, leaving them level on points with basement side Al Hazem before making a crucial return to winning ways before the break.

Under the new management of Martin Sevela following Jorge Mendonca's departure, Al Okhdood most recently hosted fellow strugglers Al Hazem and took a three-point haul, as they headed into injury time with a lead but down to 10 men, following Leandre Tawamba's goal and Hamed Al Mansour's 63rd-minute red card, before eventually prevailing with a 2-1 victory as Tawamba netted a second in the 93rd minute and the visitors pulled one back five minutes later.

That vital win saw Sevela's men climb to within a single point of safety in 16th spot, and they will aim to make it back-to-back wins under their new boss on Friday to jump out of the bottom three, although they certainly face an unenviable task away at one of the division's title-hopefuls.

Al-Nassr Saudi Pro League form:

Al-Nassr form (all competitions):

Al Okhdood Saudi Pro League form:

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Team News

Al Nassr's Aymeric Laporte celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 4, 2023© Reuters

Luis Castro will continue to line Al-Nassr up in a 4-2-3-1 shape with a similar starting XI from their recent win over Al Wahda bound to feature, as talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to lead the line having notched up 16 goals so far this season, including 13 alongside seven assists in just 12 Saudi Pro League appearances.

His tally is only topped in the squad by Talisca, who boasts 17 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions this term, and the Brazilian will continue to play a key role in a supporting trio behind Ronaldo alongside key summer arrivals Otavio and Sadio Mane.

Behind them, Seko Fofana should return from the outset to join Marcelo Brozovic in midfield, while centre-back Aymeric Laporte may remain confined to the treatment room, having missed international duty with Spain and their final outing before the break through injury, meaning Abdulelah Al-Amri and Mohammed Al-Fatil should again partner up at the heart of the back four.

While Martin Sevela may have wished to field an unchanged Al Okhdood starting XI for Friday's trip following their win last time out in the first game of his tenure, he is unable to call on defender Hamed Al Mansour, who will serve a suspension following his red card in the Al Hazem contest and would be ineligible to feature against his parent club anyway.

In his absence, Paulo Ricardo will likely come into the defence from the start, while Saeed Al-Rubaie, Solomon Kvirkvelia and Andrei Burca should again line up in the middle of a back five.

At the other end of the pitch, Leandre Tawamba will lead the line with renewed confidence, having netted a brace in that 2-1 triumph to take his tally to three league goals for the club this term, while Saviour Godwin and Real Betis loanee Alex Collado will look to cause further problems from the wings.

Al-Nassr possible starting lineup:
Al-Aqidi; Al Ghanam, Al-Amri, Al-Fatil, Telles; Fofana, Brozovic; Talisca, Otavio, Mane; Ronaldo

Al Okhdood possible starting lineup:
Vitor; Al Zabdani, Al-Rubaie, Kvirkvelia, Burca, Ricardo; Collado, Pedroza, Tanase, Godwin; Tawamba

SM words green background

We say: Al-Nassr 3-0 Al Okhdood

While Al Okhdood will take some confidence from their win before the break and the new management, a trip to Al-Nassr is a different test entirely.

With the quality throughout their squad and the need to close the gap to Al-Hilal, we can only envisage the hosts making it five straight Saudi Pro League wins on Friday.

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 over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:data

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
5Al Ittihad1373325121324
6Al Fateh137332920924
7Al Ettifaq136431914522
8Al Fayha133731514116
9Al WahdaAl Wahda135172327-416
11Al ShababAl Shabab134361621-515
12Al Khaleej133461319-613
14Al Riyadh133371228-1612
15Al Tai133281427-1311
16Al Okhdood133191020-1010
17Al RaedAl Raed132381222-109
18Al Hazem131481532-177

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