Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan will be leading the Al Ain attack in their Super Cup clash against Al Ahli on Friday night.
The Black Stars captain recovered from a mild knock to take part in the team’s final training session on Thursday night ahead of the anticipated high-tensioned clash.
The match has been spiced up with all the off-field ingredients that has intensified the rivalry between the two clubs.
Al Ain eased to their second straight top flight title last term – fending off competition from Ahli who exacted revenge of their own by beating Al Ain to the President’s Cup.
The rivalry between the clubs was tuned up in the off-season with the Boss manager Cosmin Olariou crossing carpets to join the Red Knights in a shocking move.
The two sides again went head-to-head in their bid to outdo each other by signing ex Al Jazira captain Ibrahim Diaky who eventually joined Al Ain.
These situations haven’t help in toning down the rising tensions between the club even though both managers a so determined to write it off.
The fans, on the other hand, will have no such reservations; for them, tonight’s match is about bragging rights which they can claim until the first league meeting on November 24 at Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
Al Ain’s noisy travelling support will be looking forward to their first glimpse of Diaky and new Brazilian wideman Michel Bastos, and seeing how well they settle in midfield alongside main man Omar Abdulrahman.
And despite Fossati’s call for respect, expect Olaroiu to come in for some not-so-good-natured attention from his former supporters who now consider him a traitor.