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It’s almost ten days since Al Nassr suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Al Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup. Fans will hope that Luis Castro’s side can return to the winning track later tonight as they host Al Fayha in their 28th league fixture. Cristiano Ronaldo‘s side is still 12 points behind table-toppers Al Hilal, and with just seven fixtures left, time is running out for the Knights of Najd.

In what is another blow for the team, skipper Cristiano Ronaldo will be unavailable for selection. The Portuguese talisman was slapped with a two-game ban after picking up a red card against Al Hilal. However, the suspension has been reduced to a single game after a last-minute request from Al Nassr. Head coach Luis Castro will hope his players can step up to the challenge in Cristiano’s absence and guide the team past the finish line.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is not the only absentee from Luis Castro’s squad. Brazilian star Talisca is also set to miss the game after being ruled out for the rest of the season with a thigh injury. Meanwhile, Nawaf Al-Aqidi will be absent due to suspension, with David Ospina taking up his role between the sticks. With the key players out, the onus will fall on senior stars Sadio Mane and Marcelo Brozovic to ensure the team’s win.

Can Al Nassr get the job done in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence?

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There have been a lot of concerns over Al Nassr’s form without their captain. While the team has done well on some occasions without the Portuguese, a lot of credit goes to Talisca, who will also be absent from the squad against Al Fayha. Losing your two best players at this stage in the competition is not positive news for the team. Head coach Luis Castro has a big issue on his plate, and it will be interesting to see how he copes with it.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Talisca have been responsible for 45 of the 80 goals the team has scored this season. Sadio Mane is the only other player who has reached the double-figure mark, with the Senegalese scoring on ten occasions. The ex-Liverpool star will have to put on a showcase performance later tonight if Al Nassr wants to remain in contention for the Saudi Pro League title. Do you think Al Nassr heavily relies on Cristiano Ronaldo for their success? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by

Saurabh Saket

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Saurabh Saket is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. He is a passionate Borussia Dortmund fan despite them not lifting the league title in the last twelve years. This writing machine wants to make a difference with his proficiency in journalism.
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Edited by

Jacob Gijy