Old guard vs the new in Heir Apparent Cup

After an intense period of nearly seven months, the top four teams in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) get ready for the Heir Apparent Cup beginning next week. Lekhwiya and Al Jaish - two relatively newcomers to QSL - will have football giants Al Rayyan and Al Sadd for company as the four teams in the Heir Apparent Cup.

In short, it will be old guard up against the newcomers in Qatar football. Fans would be expecting Al Rayyan and Al Sadd reaching the final on April 26 but there is no denying that Lekhwiya, the QSL champions, and Al Jaish, who have played just one season in the top flight, will be no easy pushovers.

Al Rayyan, coached by Diego Aguirre, are appearing in this year's AFC Champions League.

Al Sadd, coached by shrewd Jorge Fossati, won the 2011 AFC Champions League last November.

Pericles Chamusca is managing the newcomers El Jaish whereas Frenchman Djamel Belmadi celebrated with his Lekhwiya players on Friday night when they were handed over the QSL shield.

The semifinals will be played on April 21 and 22.