(UAE Pro League).

Depleted Al Ain face a monumental task this weekend to overturn their first-leg deficit at Khor Fakkan when the new-look Arabian Gulf Cup’s first round culminates.

The Boss went down to a 4-2 defeat last month when competitive football returned to the UAE after 208 days away, because of Coronavirus. This week’s start of another international break has granted space in the calendar to undertake second legs.

Bani Yas will hope on Thursday to negate a downturn in form when they defend a 2-0 lead against Arabian Gulf League stragglers Hatta, Ajman must respond to a 1-0 reversal at Fujairah and Al Jazira hope to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Ittihad Kalba on home soil. Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club will on Friday undertake a 500-kilometre round trip to Al Dhafra after a 1-1 draw and Al Wasl are 2-1 up versus Al Wahda.

A new format is in place for 2020/21, with the group stages gone and knockouts applied from the start. The first round has taken place minus holders Al Nasr and 2018/19 top flight champions Sharjah because they have byes until the quarter-finals, plus a plethora of leading players via call-ups.

ARABIAN GULF CUP FIXTURES

Thursday

18:00 Bani Yas (2) v (0) Hatta

18:00 Ajman (0) v (1) Fujairah

21:00 Al Jazira (1) v (2) Ittihad Kalba

Friday

18:00 Al Dhafra (1) v (1) Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club

18:00 Khor Fakkan (4) v (2) Al Ain

21:00 Al Wasl (2) v (1) Al Wahda

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