Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr are in must-win territory in their chase for the Saudi Pro League title when they welcome Abha on Saturday.
A victory by league leaders Al Ittihad has left Al Nassr needing a win of their own against Abha to stay within a point of their rivals with nine matches remaining in the season after this weekend.
Al Nassr defeated Abha 3-1 just four days prior in a King Cup quarter final match, with superstar forward Ronaldo going 87 minutes but failing to score for a third straight match as the pressure continues to grow for his new club to win a trophy in his first season.
Abha are battling relegation and will be content with any point from this contest after looking significantly inferior in midweek, allowing Al Nassr a goal within the first minute of play. They’ll need a stronger start to have any hope in this match.
Sporting News is following the Al Nassr vs Abha match live and providing live score updates, commentary.
MORE: Why Ronaldo was raging at the referee in their King Cup win
Al Nassr vs Abha live score
Al Nassr (4-3-3): 44-Nawaf Alaqidi (GK) — 2-Sultan Al-Ghanam, 5-Alamri, 21-Alvaro Gonzalez, 13-Konan — 8-Alsulaihem, 18-Luiz Gustavo, 17-Alkhaibari — 94-Talisca, 7-Ronaldo, 29-Ghareeb
Abha (4-3-1-2): 16-Devis Epassy (GK) — 39-Al Hamsal, 19-Attouchi, 4-Natiq, 3-Al-Zoari — 21-Al Sudani, 34-Driess Saddiki, 88-Al-Salouli — 10-Bguir — 9-Adam, 20-Felipe Caicedo
MORE: Al Nassr match schedule to end the 2022/23 season
Al Nassr vs Abha live updates, highlights from Saudi Pro League
1st min.: We’re off. Abha with early possession in their maroon away jerseys.
1 min from kickoff: The two captains take the photos at midfield. It’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Abha centre-back Al Zoari.
2 mins from kickoff: Teams are out on the field and we’re just about set to go.
30 mins from kickoff: Warmups underway at Mrsool Park in Riyadh.
🎥 لاعبو #النصر_أبها يجرون تدريبات الإحماء #دوري_روشن_السعودي pic.twitter.com/XGR5fKpC01
— صحيفة الرياضية (@ariyadhiah) March 18, 2023
And a touch of James Brown:
🎥 #فيديو | التحضيرات الأخيرة قبل انطلاق مباراة #النصر_ابها
📸 : @mesad_alodyani #عكاظ #ان_تكون_اولا https://t.co/3DP5iRfI7h pic.twitter.com/tEQlQWDPkp
— عكاظ الرياضية (@Okaz_Sports) March 18, 2023
60 mins from kickoff: It’ll be Felipe Caicedo (Abha) attempting to outduel Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr) in this league match.
🗒 || Starting lineup,@AlNassrFC vs #AbhaFC pic.twitter.com/6t3oJH6xZd
— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) March 18, 2023
🗒️| قائمة #نادي_ابها الأساسية والإحتياطية في مباراة #النصر_ابها ضمن #دوري_روشن_السعودي pic.twitter.com/WgkTg6Kp5o
— نادي أبها السعودي (@abhaFC) March 18, 2023
120 mins from kickoff: Here’s how it went down between these two teams just four days ago in their King Cup quarter final, which Al Nassr won comfortably:
🎬 || To the next round 💪
Here are all from behind the scene on King’s Cup game 💛 pic.twitter.com/r3lQFKn24o
— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) March 15, 2023
Al Nassr vs Abha lineups
More squad rotation from Rudi Garcia, who kept Talisca and Jaloliddin Masharipov on the bench and gave Luiz Gustavo a rest for the cup match. Two of the three start in a must-win game for Al Nassr, while captain Sami Al-Najei is out due to injury.
Al Nassr lineup (4-3-3): 44-Nawaf Alaqidi (GK) — 2-Sultan Al-Ghanam, 5-Alamri, 21-Alvaro Gonzalez, 13-Konan — 8-Alsulaihem, 18-Luiz Gustavo, 17-Alkhaibari — 94-Talisca, 7-Ronaldo, 29-Ghareeb
Al Nasssr subs (9): 22-Agustin Rossi (GK), 4-Mohammed Al-Fatil, 3-Abdullah Madu, 27-Majed Qasheesh, 19-Ali Alhassan, 12-Nawaf Boushal, 78-Ali Lajami, 77-Jaloliddin Masharipov, 16-Mohammed Maran
MORE: Al Nassr players, full squad and shirt numbers
Abha head coach Roel Coumans set up in a 3-4-3 that was more of a 3-6-1 in the midweek match and star striker Felipe Caicedo wasn’t even in the squad. We’ll see if that changes for this league match with Abha just six points above the relegation zone.
Abha lineup (4-3-1-2): 16-Devis Epassy (GK) — 39-Saeed Al Hamsal, 19-Amine Attouchi, 4-Saad Natiq, 3-Abdullah Al-Zoari — 21-Zakaria Al Sudani, 34-Driess Saddiki, 88-Saad Al-Salouli — 10-Saad Bguir — 9-Abdulfattah Adam, 20-Felipe Caicedo
Abha subs (9): 33-Mansour Jawhar (GK), 12-Abdulrahman Al Bouq (GK), 31-Sari Amro, 13-Mohammed Al-Kunaydiri, 23-Nasser Al-Omran, 15-Mutair Al-Zahrani, 8-Uros Matic, 18-Nawaf Al-Sadi, 25-Abdrulrahman Al-Alawi
Al Nassr vs Abha live stream, TV channel
Local broadcasters in selected countries have acquired the rights to televise or stream the Saudi Pro League, while fans in other countries can subscribe to streaming platform Shahid for complete coverage.
According to LiveSoccerTV, the following networks are carrying Al Nassr’s league matches:
- Australia: 10Play
- Caribbean: DirecTV Sports
- India & Asia: Sony LIV
- Malaysia: Astro Go
- Mexico: Claro Sports
- Saudi Arabia: SSC
- South America: DirecTV Sports
MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo’s salary in Saudi Arabia
|Hong Kong||—||myTV Super|
|India||Sony TEN 2||Shahid, JioTV, SONY LIV|
|Malaysia||—||Astro Go, sooka|
*Sky Sports YouTube channel
*In the UK, Sky Sports have been showing most Saudi Pro League Al Nassr matches on their YouTube channel for free.