The clash between Al Ittihad and Al Ahli – the Jeddah derby – will definitely be the highlight of Saudi Pro League matchday 9, as it will be the second-placed team hosting the sixth-placed team with just three points between them. The game is scheduled for 9 pm local time on Friday, October 6.
Al Ittihad were league leaders just one matchday ago but the draw with Al Feiha saw rivals Al Hilal overtake them in the standings. Going into the match with Al Ahli, the team coached by Nuno Espírito Santo should aim for the victory, especially considering the visitors’ recent form, which will take it all into account in our Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli tips.
Al Ittihad win
Al Ittihad were meant to take on Iranian side Sepahan in the AFC Champions League on Monday but the game was suspended because of the poor state of the pitch. While this may cause a problem to their schedule at a later point, for now this means that Al Ittihad will be fresher than expected for the game against Al Ahli.
And speaking about Al Ahli, the newly-promoted team had a solid start in the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League and even sat second in the league table at some point. However, after winning just one of their last four league matches, Al Ahli find themselves in sixth place with 16 points. The team is dealing with defensive problems – as evident from their 13 conceded goals – which are unlikely to be fixed in one week.
For these reasons, we expect Al Ittihad to take the full three points in the Jeddah derby. Bet365 offers 1.72 odds on the home side’s win.
Over 2.5 goals
We have already mentioned Al Ahli’s poor defence, and now we should add that Al Ittihad have one of the best attacks in the league with 18 goals scored so far. Karim Benzema has been dealing with an injury lately and it is unclear if he will recover in time, but the home side still have the likes of N’Golo Kante, Abderrazak Hamdallah, and Romarinho to take advantage of Al Ahli’s defensive woes.
On their part, Al Ahli have a star-studded attacking line with the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, Allan Saint-Maximin and Gabri Veiga. They have scored 16 times this season, and although Nuno Espírito Santo has built a solid defensive side (just five conceded goals), the visitors may be able to score at least once.
In this regard, we expect at least three goals in the upcoming derby, with Bet365’s odds on over 2.5 goals standing at 1.53.
Both teams to score and Al Ittihad win
Going one step further in our Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli tips, we predict that both teams will score on Friday but Nuno Espírito Santo’s men will come out victorious. Bet365 gives 3.10 odds on it happening.
Al Ahli, to all their defensive might, do not have the capacity to defend a lead if they score first. Matthias Jaissle’s team is more attack-focused, and even if they find themselves two goals down, they will always try to score instead of just sitting back and saving their batteries.
As for Al Ittihad, they have been one of the more consistent teams in the league and should look to further strengthen their position in the title race with a win. Their rivals Al Hilal are undefeated this season, meaning that there is little space for error for Karim Benzema & co.
Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Al Ittihad vs Al Ahli tips are mere suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement first and foremost.