It’s an all-Saudi Pro League affair as the league’s top two clash on Thursday night in the Cup final of the 2024 Riyadh season.
The mid-season event was supposed to feature Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s ‘Last Dance’ but the former missed out as Al Nassr thrashed Messi’s Inter Miami 6-0. The MLS side then lost to Saudi Pro League leader Al Hilal 4:3 last Monday. Thursday’s match between the two Saudi sides will thus determine the winner of the mid-season competition.
Al Hilal are currently leading Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League 2023/24, with both teams going into this competition in top form. Ronaldo’s men were beaten away from home in their first head-to-head clash of the season, with Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic finding the back of the net for a 3-0 victory.
Al Hilal received massive support in their match against Al Nassr. The game will see the likes of Yassine Bounou, Kalidou Koulibaly and Kharim Diaw return to the pitch after international duty. While Salman Al-Faraj is available for selection, the player could be kept out of the squad as the Saudi Arabian FA is currently investigating the player for leaving the national camp.
Luis Castro should have all his players available. However, there are doubts over Sultan Al-Ghannam’s availability with a player facing a similar fate to Salman Al-Faraj. Cristiano Ronaldo has fully recovered and will be in action for his side. Senegalese superstar Sadio Mane is also back from international duty and will be available for selection.
Al Hilal predicted line-up: (4-2-3-1) Bono; Al Shahrani, Al Dawsari, Koulibaly, Lodi; Milinkovic-Savic, Neves; Michael, Al-Hamdan, Malcom; Mitrovic.
Al Nassr predicted line-up: (4-2-3-1) Abdullah; Boushal, Alamri, Laporte, Telles; Al Sulaiheem, Brozovic; Talisca, Otavio, Mane; Ronaldo.