After week 5, we’re beginning to get a sense of how the season might shape up this year.
Our early season report examines which teams are looking strong, which teams have started slowly, and who are the players to watch.
Looking good: Sharjah FC
Sharjah FC rounded up some of the best footballers available in this summer transfer window. The likes of Miralem Pjanic and Kostas Manolas signed for 2-year deals with an option to extend for a third, and Alcacer joined on a 3-year deal.
Sharjah FC remain unbeaten after matchday 5 in the Pro League, scoring 14 goals and conceding 5. They remain on top of the Pro League with 13 points. The team looks solid from the outset, with new signings settling quickly – even through the demanding weather conditions.
Prize time 😍
The 1️⃣st spot of the #Fans‘League’s Highest Away Attendance prize goes to ⚪ @SharjahFC🥇
Congratulations to #Sharjah‘s fans 👏🏻 #ADNOCProLeague ⚽#FairPlayFairSupport 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/fqVdMwT9G4
— ADNOC Pro League (@AGLeague_EN) October 10, 2022
Looking good: Al Jazira Club
Al Jazira Club also remain unbeaten in the league after round 5, scoring 12 and conceding 5. They boast the top scorer of the league in Ali Mabkhout, who’s scored 9 so far this season. They sit 2nd in the league with 11 points.
Al Jazira have some experienced locals in their team with the likes of goalkeeper Ali Khasif appearing 324 times for the club, as well as Abdulla Ramadan and Khalfan Mubarak.
Underperformer: Al Wahda FC
Al Wahda FC have had a very slow start to the season, with just one win in 4 games. A 1-0 loss at home against last season’s relegation contenders Ittihad Kalba – despite having the majority of possession – speaks volumes about their start.
Their only win so far came against newly promoted Al Bateah.
Al Wahda are looking to adapt under their new manager, who prefers to keep the ball and play progressive football. Once the team adapts to the new system, they’ll be in a much healthier state in terms of results.
Underperformer: Bani Yas FC
Bani Yas are yet to find any rhythm after matchday 5. Their most recent defeat came against Ajman FC. One of the main concerns is in the final third; they’ve only been able to find the net twice in 5 games.
Defensively, they have conceded 7 goals and also suffered a surprise defeat against newly promoted side Al Bateah at home. Much to work on.
One to watch: Ali Mabkhout
UAE international Ali Mabkhout is the league’s top scorer, with a whopping 9 goals in 5 games. He’s averaging 1.8 goals every game.
He’s made in the perfect mould of a center forward, with an aerial duel success rate at 100% as of now. All 9 of his goals have come from inside the box.
One to watch: Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba
The Togolese international is no stranger to this league, as he’s playing his third season. He’s scored 48 goals in 54 appearances.
Kodjo has scored 7 times in this campaign from 5 games. He is fierce and aggressive while pressing and fulfilling his defensive duties, with a tackle success rate at 100%.
He was the top scorer last season with 26 goals from 22 games, with an average of 1.18 goals per game.
The Bur Dubai derby: Al Nasr vs. Al Wasl
The Bur Dubai derby is always game to look upon every season. With both clubs separated by just a few kilometers, the stakes so high and the teams have become fierce rivals.
The result ended with the hosts Al Nasr losing 2-1 and subsequently dropping to 10th in the table.
How the #ADNOCProLeague table shapes up after MW5️⃣ ⚽#FairPlayFairSupport👏🏻#FansLeague 📢 pic.twitter.com/nV9DUPrA5H
— ADNOC Pro League (@AGLeague_EN) October 8, 2022
The battle for top spot: Al Jazira vs. Sharjah
Al Jazira and Sharjah settled a six-goal thriller after playing out a 3-3 draw at Mohammad bin Zayed Stadium.
The result means that Sharjah are now top the ADNOC Pro League table with 13 points, while Al Jazira remain third with 11 points.
Both teams showed their quality and proved why they’ll be challenging for the title this season.