City to take on UAE's most successful club in Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
- 14 May 2014 11:34
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
The Premier League Champions are set to take on the most successful club in UAE’s history when City meet Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening.
The iconic Hazza Bin Zayed stadium will host the first ever meeting between the two clubs, months after opening its doors for the first time in January 2014.
Al Ain play their home games at the new, groundbreaking stadium which is designed to offer fans the best match experience possible.
For the hosts, this exhibition fixture is sandwiched between two crucial matches as their 2014 season continues apace. After beating Al Jazira 2-1 on Tuesday night to progress to the quarter finals of the Asian Champions League 4-2 on aggregate, Al Ain, nicknamed Al Zaeem (The Boss) must also prepare for Sunday’s President’s Cup encounter with Al Ahli.
Unbeaten in their last 11 games, the UAE side will be keen to continue an impressive run of form against the Blues.
"Familiar with performing on big stages, Al Ain boast a bulging trophy cabinet, which includes the Gulf Club Champions Cup, the Asian Champions League, 11 Pro League titles, five President’s Cups, and four Super Cups."
...Al Ain v City...
Manager Zlatko Dalic has only been with the club since March, but the Croatian has already delighted fans by guiding the team through the Champions League stages for the first time since 2006.
Captain Hilal Saeed leads a stubborn defence, while up front Asamoah Gyan will be a familiar face to City supporters after his goalscoring exploits in the Premier League with Sunderland, and Australian striker Alex Brosque has 17 goals to his name in 33 league appearances.
Brosque, who hails from Sydney, said: “Manchester City is one of the best teams in the world and to play against some of the players that will play in the World Cup this year is really great.
“Coming up against players we get to watch every week in the Premier League is probably the most exciting thing about playing them.”
Midfielder Omar Abdulrahman, who came on trial at the Etihad Stadium in 2012, added: “Manchester City is a great football team and we are very proud to be hosting them at the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium.
"The stadium should be full and that will give it an amazing atmosphere. We will prepare ourselves properly for the match because it is a match we hope to win. We want to win all matches at the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium.”
It’s sure to be a spectacular occasion in front of passionate fans of both clubs.
Kick off is at 7.40pm local time (4.40pm BST) and fans in the UK and Ireland can watch the game live on BT Sport. We’ll have full coverage on twitter and a match report on mcfc.co.uk.