RIYADH — Al-Ahli will head to Riyadh for one of their toughest challenges since returning to the Saudi Professional League. They will face Al-Nassr at Al-Awwal Park on Friday in a high-stakes match in the seventh round of the competition.

Al-Ahli quickly bounced back to the Saudi Professional League after being relegated in the 2021-2022 season, marking their first-ever relegation to the second division. Meanwhile, this will be Al-Nassr's first major clash since the start of the competition.

Al-Ahli currently occupies third place with 15 points from 6 matches, while Al-Nassr lags behind in sixth place with three points.

Al-Ahli, bolstered by prominent names such as Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez, Frank Kessie, and Allan Saint-Maximin, secured four consecutive victories before suffering a heavy 5-1 defeat to Al-Fateh. However, they regained their balance in the previous round with an exciting 3-2 win over Al-Taawoun.

Turkish international Merih Demiral will return to Al-Ahli's defense in the highly anticipated match after missing the previous round due to suspension following his red card in the match against Al-Fateh.

On the other hand, Al-Nassr enters the game with high spirits following their 2-0 victory over Persepolis of Iran in the AFC Champions League. Their goal is to achieve a fifth consecutive win in the league.

After winning the King Salman Club Arab Championship last month, Al-Nassr suffered two consecutive losses in the league to Al-Ettifaq and Al-Taawoun. However, they quickly recovered with six consecutive wins in the AFC Champions League qualifying stage and the first round of the league.

Al-Nassr relies on their captain, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who leads the Saudi Professional League's top scorers with 7 goals, and his Senegalese teammate Sadio Mane, who has scored 6 goals so far.

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