Al-Hilal vs Al-Nassr – Final
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr is set to take on archrivals Al-Hilal in the final of the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup at the King Fahd Stadium on Saturday.
Jorge Jesus’ side finished second to Al-Saad from Group B where they had faced a 3-2 defeat against the Qatari outfit, but they have since won three consecutive games including the 3-1 wins over both Al-Ittihad and Al-Shabab in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.
Ronaldo – this year’s top scorer at the tournament with four goals – scored the 75th-minute penalty against Iraq’s Al-Shorta to put Al-Nassr in the spot to possibly win their first-ever Arab Club Champions Cup title, while Al-Hilal have won it twice before – in 1994 and 1995.
The Knights of Najd had finished second to Al-Shabab from Group C before continuing their run with a 3-1 win over Raja Casablanca of Morocco in the quarter-finals.
With goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf suspended following his sending-off against Al-Shabab, Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus is likely to opt for Habib Al-Wutaian in goal.
Malcolm made an immediate impact at the club after arriving from Zenit, finding the back of the net in both the knockout ties, and should continue to partner Salem Al-Dawsari up front.
Other big names in the XI include former Napoli and Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly, and midfielder Ruben Neves who has joined from Wolves.
Al-Nassr boss Luis Castro will be inclined to use the same line-up from the semi-finals, with Ronaldo leading the line of attack alongside Talisca and Sadio Mane.
Sultan Al-Ghannam was on the scoresheet against Raja Casablanca in the last eight and will continue at right-back, with former Manchester United man Alex Telles at left-back.
Joining from Ligue 1 side Lens this season, Seko Fofana will feature in the middle, other than former Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.