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LIVE: Al Hilal vs. Al Nassr in huge Saudi Pro League title tilt

It’s a top of the table clash in Saudi Arabia as Al Hilal host Al Nassr in a huge derby matchup between superstars and super clubs.

Al Hilal, in spite of the devastating loss of huge summer signing Neymar, sit in pole position on 38 points through 14 matches, yet to suffer defeat this season. Al Nassr are just four points behind in second, perfect in league play dating back to their early-October draw with Abha, a run of five straight victories.

The match also pits the league’s top two goal scorers against one another, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Aleksandar Mitrovic face off in the race for the Saudi Pro League golden boot award. Those two have led the charge in the league’s top two attacking sides, with the two clubs combining to score an incredible 82 goals this year through just 28 matches.

Both clubs feature star-studded lineups with a collection of European and South American talent. Who will emerge victorious and stake their early claim to the Saudi Pro League title?

MORE: How many goals has Cristiano Ronaldo scored at Al Nassr this season?

The Sporting News is following the Al Hilal vs Al Nassr match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

Kickoff: 9 p.m. local (1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT)
Location: King Fahd International Stadium (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Referee: TBD

Predicted lineups:

Al Hilal (4-2-3-1, right to left): Bounou (GK) — Abdulhamid, Koulibaly, Al-Boleahi, Burayk — Kanno, Milinkovic-Savic — Qahtani, Hamddan, Al-Dawsari — Mitrovic.

Al Nassr (4-2-3-1, right to left): Alaqidi (GK) — Al Ghanam, Lajami, Laporte, Ahmed — Al Khaibari, Brozovic — Talisca, Otavio, Mane — Ronaldo.

2 hours to kickoff: This game features the two most in-form goalscorers in Saudi Arabia. Cristiano Ronaldo leads the league in scoring with 15 goals through 12 games, but Aleksandar Mitrovic is second with 10 goals in one less match played.

Mitrovic has helped Al Nassr overcome the demoralising injury to Neymar, which could have destroyed the team’s season before it really even began. A video has surfaced of Mitrovic calling Ronaldo “the best player ever” but that hasn’t stopped him from competing against the Portuguese star to the end.

Al Hilal have a host of injuries to work around, most notably the devastating ACL tear suffered by expensive star signing Neymar a month ago.

Top Saudi internationals Mohammed Al Owais and Salem Al-Dawsari are also carrying injuries, but the former has backed up World Cup hero Yassine Bounou this season anyways, while the latter started in the midweek AFC Champions League game and could be rotated out for Michael as he continues to recover.

Malcom and Aleksandar Mitrovic both came off the bench in that midweek win over Namangan, but should both come back into the starting lineup for league play.

Al Hilal projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Bounou (GK) — Abdulhamid, Koulibaly, Al-Boleahi, Burayk — Neves, Milinkovic-Savic — Qahtani, Malcolm, Michael— Mitrovic.

Al Hilal subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)

Luis Castro has not flagged up any fresh injury concerns after Al Nassr’s 0-0 AFC Champions League draw at home to Persepolis. Ali Lajami faces an incoming ban for that competition thanks to his red card, but he is available for league action, and Abdullah Al-Khaibari could earn a recall.

Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted off in the draw with Persepolis after suffering a neck injury, but he’s likely to be available today. The same goes for Aymeric Laporte who is carrying a foot injury but is expected to be ready for action.

Al Nassr projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Alaqidi (GK) — Al Ghanam, Lajami, Laporte, Ahmed — Al Khaibari, Brozovic — Talisca, Otavio, Mane — Ronaldo.

Al Nassr subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)

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