QNB Stars League Week 11 — Thursday Preview
Thursday’s fixtures in Week 11 of the QNB Stars League are Al Sailiya vs Al Duhail (Al Ahli Stadium, 16:00), Al Ahli vs Al Rayyan (Al Ahli Stadium, 18:10) and Al Kharaitiyat vs Al Sadd (Al Khor Stadium, 18:10).
Al Sailiya vs Al Duhail
Al Sailiya should be going all out at leaders Al Duhail as they badly need to make a turnaround in their fortunes, having lost the last two games.
Tunisian coach Sami Trabelsi, who has been at the helm of The Peregrines for long, is a shrewd tactician and must be using all aces up his sleeve as he very well knows that it is no easy task against Al Duhail, coached by Algerian Djamel Belmadi, who has high credentials. So it is going to be a tactical battle as well.
Trabelsi has at his disposal the likes of Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov, Wagner Ribeiro, Valentin Lazar and Nadir Belhadj.
Belmadi has said they were taking the A Sailiya challenge seriously and keen on extending their winning run as the first phase of the competition ends this week.
Al Duhail’s aces are captain Youssef Msakni, top scorer Youssef El Arabi and playmaker Nam Tae-Hee.
Al Duhail have 28 points and Al Sailiya 18.
Al Ahli vs Al Rayyan
Al Rayyan had to play out a 1-1 draw with Umm Salal. Their woes were compounded when star striker Abdurazzaq Hamdallah limped out early in the match with a pulled thigh muscle. He has been ruled out against Al Ahli.
The Moroccan joined the injury list, which already had Ahmed Al Saadi, Sultan Al Kuwari and Ziad Ali. Nevertheless, they have players such as Rodrigo Tabata and Sebastian Soria to do the trick.
“I’m not upset about the loss of the two points because I can only see the good performance of the team. The season is still long. The loss of two points in the top race doesn’t bother me,” said Al Rayyan coach Michael Laudrup.
Al Ahli would look to keep winning after their upset victory over Al Sailiya in the last round. Finally, The Brigadiers have all their professionals playing together after a long spell of injuries and international commitments.
Al Rayyan are on 25 points and Al Ahli 11.
Al Kharaitiyat vs Al Sadd
Al Kharaitiyat would rather consider their shock loss to Qatar SC, who were lying at rock bottom, as a nightmare. But to compensate for that, they have a herculean task on hand as they run into 13-time league champions Al Sadd, who occupy the third position with 24 points.
Moroccan striker Rachid Tiberkanine leads the charge of Egyptian coach Ahmad Al Ajlani’s side.
Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira sounded pleased with their victory over Al Khor and the Portuguese would be hoping they no longer drop points while pursuing the title.
“My goal now is to take the team back to the level where we were during last season. The absence of some players affected our performance a lot in the last few games. When we got back Pedro (Miguel), we lost (Baghdad) Bounedjah. I’m not able to play (Boualem) Khoukhi in his position because of these absences. I am confident that the team will be able to return to its true level when we play with a full team,” he said.
Al Sadd have 24 points and Al Kharaitiyat nine.