QNB Stars League Week 17 — Thursday Preview
Al Duhail will host Umm Salal to kick off the QNB Stars League Week 17 proceedings on Thursday. The kick-off is at 18:55.
Al Duhail keep extending their unbeaten run to lead the table with 42 points from 13 wins and three draws, and are coming off a 5-1 victory over Al Gharafa. The Red Knights will be keen to continue their winning streak as Al Sadd are keeping pace with them with just two points behind.
Captain Youssef Msakni and in-form Almoez Ali, who recently emerged as the top scorer (six goals) at the Asian Under-23 Championship in China where Qatar finished third, both scored two goals, with Youssef El Arabi finding the other against Al Gharafa.
Moroccan striker El Arabi (21) and Tunisian attacking midfielder Msakni (16) are the QNB Stars League’s top two scorers. Then, they have South Korean playmaker Nam Tae-Hee on eight goals.
The return of Almoez to the squad after national duty and the good form of defensive midfielder Karim Boudiaf augur well for Djamel Belmadi’s side.
Al Duhail extended their good form to the AFC Champions League as well by beating Iran’s Zob Ahan 3-1 at home in their Group B opener on Monday. Boudiaf (two) and Msakni found the mark as Nam gave assists to both scorers.
However, they will miss midfielder Luis Martin Junior for at least two more weeks due to a leg muscle rupture he sustained during their 4-0 win over Al Ahli in Week 15 of the QNB Stars League.
Umm Salal stand fifth in the standings with 24 points, the same as Al Sailiya but behind on goal difference. The Orange Fortress are coming off a comeback 2-1 win over Al Khor, with Adil Rhaili and Maher Yousef scoring their goals.
And Umm Salal’s new coach Talal El Karkouri, who made his debut memorable after replacing Mahmoud Jaber, will look to build on the victory as they eye the fourth position.
Ivorian Yannick Sagbo, with eight goals so far, will lead their attack, ably supported by the likes of Syrian Mahmoud Mawas.