The Omanis must secure a better result against the Jordanians than that achieved by Al Wahda in their meeting with already-eliminated Salam Zgharta to move into the qualifying places for the next phase.
Al Wehdat, who have 10 points from their opening five games, lead Group A by two points from Al Wahda with Al Nahda a point further behind, while Salam Zgharta are adrift at the bottom and out of contention. Al Wehdat only need to avoid defeat to be sure of remaining in the competition.
Al Wehdat are a strong team and they have a lot of experience. They recently won the local league which means they will go into the match with heightened morale,” said Tavares (pictured). “We know the capabilities of their players and we expect a tough game.
“If we want to qualify we must defeat Al Wehdat, which makes the match so important and very hard for us. However, we will be fighting to achieve our target even though our task will not be easy because we are facing a strong team who will take advantage of playing in front of their own fans.”
Defender Muhanad Abdullah and Ali Al Busaidi will both be missing for Al Nahda through suspension but Mansoor Al Naaimi will be available having been banned from the previous round of matches.
Al Wehdat, meanwhile, will welcome back Jordan national team goalkeeper Amer Shafi and Ahmad Elias, who were suspended for the game on Matchday Five.
“This is the last round of matches and it is important to achieve victory as we are playing at home and in front of our fans,” said Al Wehdat coach Abdallah Abu Zema. “Our target before the competition was to finish on top of the group and we hope that we can achieve our target.
“The match will not be easy because we will be playing against Al Nahda who are a strong team and they could make things hard for us. We will play with great concentration but our task will not be easy. Hopefully we can get the three points.”
Al Wahda, meanwhile, prepare for their meeting with Salam Zgharta knowing victory will guarantee they advance to the Round of 16 and they prepared by qualifying for the semi-finals of the Syria Cup last week with a 1-0 win over Al Ittihad.
“Directly at the end of our match against Al Nahda, we started to think about our match against Salam Zgharta because this is an important match for us,” said coach Mohamed Shabrak. “We will be playing against strong side who are always good when they play at home.
“The result of the match tomorrow could affect the outcome of the group. It will be like a final match for us and hopefully we can achieve our target from the match will be very decisive for us in the competition.”
Salam Zgharta sit at the bottom of Group A having picked up only a solitary win so far, but coach Pieter Meindertsma believes the lack of expectation on his team could be to their advantage.
“We have nothing to lose in the match tomorrow because we have lost any hopes of qualifying to the knockout stage,” said the Dutch coach. “We will be playing without any pressure and hopefully the players can give their best.
“We want to give a strong performance and win the game in order to have a good conclusion to our season. Al Wahda will put all their effort into the match because it is important for them but hopefully we can defeat them tomorrow.”
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