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Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr Prediction and Tips

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
26 December 2023, 15:05

Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr Preview

Al Ittihad were involved in the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup this December where they reached the second round, eventually defeated by Egyptian club Al Ahly. Thus, Marcelo Gallardo’s men had to reschedule their round 17 match against Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League. Instead, that game is set to be played on Tuesday, December 26, with the kick-off at 9 pm local time.

Before diving into our Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr prediction, we should mention that the hosts have had a turbulent spell since October. They risk finishing outside of AFC Champions League qualifying spots despite the massive investment made into the squad over the summer.

Al Ittihad Preview

Crowned champions last term, Al Ittihad started the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League campaign strong, even sitting first in the opening weeks. However, the club from Jeddah has struggled with consistency since October and now finds itself only sixth in the league standings, with 28 points after 17 matches. They have scored 32 and conceded 21 goals in the league.

In terms of recent form, Al Ittihad have two wins, one draw and two losses in the last five Saudi Pro League encounters, a record which will certainly influence the Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr tips.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the hosts underwent a managerial change in November, with Marcelo Gallardo replacing Nuno Espirito Santo.

Al Nassr Preview

Al Nassr are placed second in the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League with 40 points after 17 matches, having recorded 46 goals in favour and 20 goals against. Their recent form includes four wins and one loss.

The Riyadh club is currently 10 points behind league leaders Al Hilal but have a game in hand. Thus, a win on Tuesday will be especially important for Cristiano Ronaldo & co if they want to remain in the title race.

In fact, the Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr odds see the visitors better equipped to get the three points on December 26, which makes sense considering how the teams have fared in recent weeks.

Betting Tips Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime

We will start our Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr prediction with what many will consider obvious – Cristiano Ronaldo ending up on the scoreboard. Bet365 offer 1.57 odds on the Portuguese scoring anytime on Tuesday.

Turning 39 years old in February, Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the top goalscorer in the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League with 17 strikes in 16 appearances. However, Aleksandar Mitrovic is in close second with 16 goals, meaning that the Portugal international cannot relax just yet.

Luckily, Ronaldo is in hot form at the moment, having scored five goals in the last five league games. Aside from the 3-0 loss to Al Hilal, the 38-year-old has scored in every Saudi Pro League match since the start of November. The Portuguese will certainly be able to take advantage of the hosts fragile defence and poor run of form.

Al Nassr win

It is not just Cristiano Ronaldo who we expect to shine on Tuesday, we believe that Al Nassr will prove to be the better team on the pitch as well. The odds on a win for the visitors stand at 1.70 on Bet365.

Al Ittihad are coming after two consecutive losses in the league. Additionally, we believe that Marcelo Gallardo's men will carry fatigue after playing five matches in the space of three weeks, and the psychological pressure caused by the recent results will also play a role.

Al Nassr, meanwhile, have only lost one league match since August 18 – the aforementioned 3-0 defeat to league leaders Al Hilal. Luis Castro’s men are undoubtedly the second-best team in Saudi Arabia by quite a margin, and a tired and inconsistent Al Ittihad should not be too big of a challenge for them.

Both teams to score? Yes

Despite what we’ve said above, we do not believe that the match on Tuesday will be a walk in the park for Al Nassr. We’ve so far implied that we expect the visitors to score, and now it is the time to make a case for why the home side will be on the scoresheet as well.

First of all, Al Ittihad have a respectable attacking output, as their 32 scored goals is the fifth-best result in the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League. We should highlight Karim Benzema and Abderrazak Hamdallah, who have scored 15 and 14 goals respectively across all competitions this term.

Second, Al Nassr’s backline is not that impressive. Having conceded 20 goals, their defence is only the fourth-best in Saudi Arabia. The visitors have kept just four clean sheets – including one in the last five matches – since the start of the 2023/24 season. Al Ittihad will definitely get their scoring opportunities, and Bet365 give 1.36 odds on both teams scoring.

Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Al Ittihad vs Al Nassr tips are only suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.