The home side will go into the match on Friday as the favourites, as they currently top the league unbeaten with 26 points after 10 games. However, Al Ahli are just four points behind in fourth, and a positive result at King Fahd International Stadium would not go unnoticed in the title race.
Thus, we will reflect on the importance of the match in our Al Hilal vs Al Ahli tips, also taking into account the two teams’ recent calendar.
Al Hilal win
Al Hilal may be unbeaten but the title race in 2023/24 Saudi Pro League hasn't been an easy one so far. Besides Al Ahli who are fourth with 22 points, there is Al Nassr with the same amount of points in third and Al Taawon in second with 23 points. So, in case of a loss, Jorge Jesus’ men risk being overtaken in the league standings.
Al Ahli are a worthy opponent but not impenetrable. They have the worst defence among the top five teams with 14 conceded goals in 10 matches. Al Hilal, meanwhile, boast the second-best attack in the league with 27 scored goals.
And even with Neymar injured, the home side has enough firing power – with the likes of Aleksandr Mitrovic, Malcom, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – to take advantage of Al Ahli’s defensive weaknesses. For these reasons, we expect the three points to go to the hosts, and Bet365 offers 1.53 odds on an Al Hilal win.
Under 3.5 goals
At the same time, we do not expect a high-scoring game in our Al Hilal vs Al Ahli tips for reasons we will explain down below. For now, we should say that Bet365’s odds on under 3.5 goals stand at 1.66.
We have mentioned that Al Hilal have the second-best attack in Saudi Pro League and that the visitors’ defensive record is not one to be proud of. However, it is worth noting that Al Hilal will be arriving for the match on Friday only four days after playing Mumbai City in the AFC Champions League. That will mean that some of Jorge Jesus’ key starters will carry some fatigue.
So, if they are one or two goals up, we’d expect Al Hilal to go low-energy mode instead of looking for another goal as there will be more matches to play next week. Al Ahli have a decent attack themselves and may also be able to get on the scoreline, but we can’t see them scoring more than once against the league’s joint-best defence.
Both teams to score? No
Going forward with the expectation of a rather closed-off game, we would go as far as to suggest that one of the teams will not score on Friday. Bet365 offers 2.20 odds on this line.
To explain our reasoning, we should point to the fact that Al Hilal have the joint-best defence in the Saudi Pro League with five clean sheets and just seven goals conceded in 10 matches.
Al Ahli have the means to hurt them as their frontline includes Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin and Roberto Firmono. However, they have never faced a defence as solid as Al Hilal’s, with Kalidou Koulibaly leading the backline and Yassine Bounou between the sticks. There’s little the front trio can do if there is not enough support in the build-up or if the team barely gets to control the ball.
And while we are at it, the odds on Al Hilal winning to nil stand at 3.00.
Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Al Hilal vs Al Ahli tips are mere suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement first and foremost.