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Matchweek 3 Preview – The race to the top

The Roshn Saudi League wheels continue rolling on Thursday, August 24, 2023 with five matches. The action gets underway in Hail, with 11th placed Al Rai welcoming ninth-placed Al Wehda, with both teams sitting on three points, with goal-difference favouring the home side.
In Jeddah, Al Ahli aim to continue their perfect start to the season and retain the top spot as they welcome fellow newly promoted side Al Okhdood who are still hoping to pick up their first win on their maiden Roshn Saudi League campaign.
Three other games kick-off at 21:00, with Al Ittihad hoping to add to their six points when they travel to face newly promoted Al Riyadh who are also unbeaten, having picked up four points from their first two matches.
Around 370km to the north of Riyadh, Al Raed host Al Hilal in Buraidah. The home side are bottom of the table with no points, while Al Hilal have collected four points and sit in fourth place.
In Dammam on the east coast, it will be derby day as Al Ettifaq and Al Khaleej lock horns at Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium. Coach Steven Gerrard’s side have won both their previous games while their opponents have lost both.
The action continues on Friday with four matches; AFC Champions League participants Al Fayha host Al Hazem, having picked up four points from their last two games, including an away draw against Al Hilal in their most recent outing. Meanwhile, Al Hazem are chasing their first point of the season upon their return to the top flight.
Three simultaneous kick-offs at 21:00 see Al Shabab welcome Damac to Riyadh, with both teams having just one point to their name. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr travel to Al Ahsa in pursuit of their first points of the season against Slaven Bilic’s Al Fateh who are unbeaten with four points; the same tally as Al Taawoun who welcome Abha in the last of Matchweek 3 games.
Level on points and goals, Jeddah rivals Al Ahli and Al Ittihad share the top spot, while it is a Brazilian duel at the top of the scoring charts with Roberto Firmino and Malcom both leading the race thanks with three goals, thanks to opening weekend hat-tricks.