Al Ahli vs Al Taaowun: Big 4 Team Discounted After Poor Outing

Will Chace
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Al Ahli vs Al Taaowun: Big 4 Team Discounted After Poor Outing

Al Ahli Saudi look to bounce back from a 5-1 drubbing vs Al Fateh this Saturday. Al Ahli FC play hosts to Al Taaowun FC in a high-profile matchup that pits two top-4 teams against each other. Will the Big 4 member stay strong on home soil, or will Al Taaowun continue its impressive start to the season? Read on for a breakdown and betting picks.

  • What: Saudi Professional League game, Al Ahli FC vs Al Taaowun FC
  • When: September 16, 2023
  • Time: 2 PM EST
  • Where: Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • TV: FOX Soccer Plus

Al Ahli FC vs Al Taaowun: Which Team is Favored?

Al Ahli Saudi FC is listed as an overwhelming favorite to win the match vs Al Taaowun on Saturday. Between two highly rated sportsbooks, the home team is priced at an average line of (-254), good for an impressive 71.8% win probability. The best available odds on Al Taaowun FC to win are (+630) at BetUS. A draw is in the cards but unlikely, with an average line of (+373). 

Al Ahli FC-278-230
Al Taaowun FC+630+500

Al Taaowun Turning Heads This Season

Al Taaowun FC, based in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia, have enjoyed an excellent start to their 2023-24 campaign. The Wolves have yet to lose this season. The club gained an impressive 2-0 win on the road against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr just a few weeks ago. They appear to be one of the best outside of the Big 4 in the Saudi Pro League. While a title is unlikely, fans can reasonably hope for a top-5 finish.

The team runs a 4-3-3 attacking formation, with #10 Álvaro Medrán and Dutch Aschraf El Mahdioui pacing the midfield. Brazilian forward Mateus leads the team in goals so far with a pair of winners in back-to-back games. The team boasts a strong defensive line that has only conceded two goals so far this season, including a streak of three clean sheets. 

How Did Each Club Fare Last Time Out?

Al Taaowun FC took care of business at home with a breezy 4-1 victory over Al Wehda. The Wolves were in control all game, scoring 4 straight before a 90’ penalty spoiled the club’s stretch of clean sheets. While the Saudi Pro League style can be relatively physical, Al Taaowun rarely put themselves into positions where they had to make reckless tackles. 

On the other hand, Al Ahli Saudi FC suffered a devastating 5-1 loss for their first this season. The club appeared to be better early, but faded down the stretch. On the road against Al Fateh, they kept the game within one goal all the way up until the 89th minute. It seemed as though Al Ahli gave up, initiating a series of poor challenges. These mistakes offered promising offensive chances for Al Fateh who eventually converted. Two more goals were to follow as a result of ugly defensive plays, leaving Al Ahli Saudi with a terrible result.

Al Ahli will have to clean things up on the defensive end, but their main concern vs Al Taaowun should be on the attack. The Wolves have been lights-out defensively and particularly effective on the road, surprisingly. Al Ahli is one of the Big 4 teams in Saudi Arabia with many foreign acquisitions. A loss in Jeddah after such a poor performance vs Al Fateh will be a very bad look for a team in title contention.

The Power of the “Big 4” Teams in the Saudi Pro League

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has largely been responsible for the country’s massive spending in sports over the past few years. Their large gamble on golf with the creation of the LIV golf league garnered much interest over the past year. The Fund has recently taken over four of the Saudi Professional League’s top teams (Al Nassr, Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, and Al Hilal). With such an influx in cash, these teams have been wheeling and dealing to acquire top global talent such as Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and last year’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. 

As a result, these clubs have a massive advantage over their less-fortunate opponents. The players typically enjoy much better amenities, play in stadiums with larger capacities, and are heavily supported on social media. From a betting perspective, it is no surprise these clubs are consistently listed at such large odds. Any bettor should be wary of such significant factors tipped in the direction of a select few clubs in the league.

Best Bet and Prediction for Al Ahli FC vs Al Taaowun FC

Brikan, who has scored 4 goals so far. However, the team is also loaded with international talent such as goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, striker Roberto Firmino, and midfielder Riyad Mahrez. With all players now back from international duty, Al Ahli will be at full strength. They will be desperate to bounce back after a disappointing outcome last match.

While Al Taaowun appear on paper to be much better than expected, their results have been fortunate. If not for lone goals by Mateus, Al Taaowun would be sitting mid-table with scoreless draws. Getting a point against a Big 4 team on the road is a tall order, and with Al Ahli’s stacked lineup, I believe this line may be an overreaction to each team’s most recent outings. 

Al Ahli dominated possession and shots taken vs Al Fateh but lost 5-1. Trust the much better team on paper and lay the juice on Al Ahli to get the job done on their grounds. This price is a discount and would be closer to (-350) if not for late, insignificant goals conceded by Al Ahli Saudi last time out.

Al Ahli To beat Al Taaowun

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Meet the author

Will Chace

From Boston, Will's passion for sports is more of a hereditary characteristic than a learned hobby. Besides rooting for his hometown teams, he follows MMA heavily and will consume just about any sports-related content. In college, Will combined his passion for sports an...

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