Following the resumption of the ADNOC Pro League, after the break for the World Cup, we take a look at the state of play in the United Arab Emirates’ premier soccer competition.
The Pro League is currently in the midst of its season, with each team having played 12 games out of the 26-game schedule.
At this point in the competition, the race for the top spot is still highly competitive, with Sharjah FC currently leading the league table with 26 points. They are closely followed in second by Shabab Al Ahli with 25 points, while Ajman Club sits in third place with 23 points. Al Wahda and Al Jazira make up the top five respectively.
— ADNOC Pro League (@UAEProleague_En) December 25, 2022
The most surprising element of the season so far is last year’s champion, Al Ain FC, who are currently 7th place with 19 points. It has certainly been far below many fan expectations since the start of the season, even though their stadium is always full and have a fantastic following of away fans.
Behind the numbers
The league has seen an impressive total of 247 goals scored in 84 matches, averaging 2.9 goals per match. Of these goals, 215 were scored from inside the penalty area, 32 from outside the box, and 8 from free-kicks.
While they may be struggling in the overall table, Al Ain have scored the most goals with 27, while second-bottom, Dibba FC have scored the least with only 5 goals in 12 games. Sharjah FC has the best defensive record so far, having conceded only 9 goals.
In terms of clubs with the most missed points after taking the lead, the ADNOC Pro League title holders Al Ain topped the chart after missing 12 points from winning positions. Al Nasr has the upper hand in terms of clubs with the most ball possession at 62%, surpassing Al Jazira by 61%.
Ali Mabkhout is the top scorer with 13 goals, while last year’s top scorer Laba Kodjo sits just one goal behind with 12. Soufian Rahimi has the most assists with 9 and Ashraf Bencharki tops the list of players with the most successful dribbles with 34.
It’s been a conveyer belt for managers so far. Five clubs have dismissed their coach during the first half of the season, with only Al Wahda FC seeing an improvement after getting a new coach.
With many exciting matches yet to come and an enthralling title challenge in the second half of the season on the horizon, it will be interesting to see which team comes out on top and claims the ADNOC Pro League Championship.