Al Arabi vs Umm Salal — Friday, 2nd February, 2018 @ 18:45, Al Arabi Stadium

QNB Stars League Week 15

The Al Arabi vs Umm Salal clash in Week 15 of the QNB Stars League on Friday assumes much significance, especially since both teams had dropped points in the last round and would be more keen to register a win. The kick-off is at 18:45 at the Al Arabi Stadium.

Al Arabi and Umm Salal played out an identical 1-1 draw with Qatar SC and Al Ahli and are placed 10th and fifth with 11 and 20 points respectively.

There is a big difference between the teams in terms of the current form and also the number of victories. Umm Salal have registered five victories compared to Al Arabi’s two.

Mahmoud Jaber-coached Umm Salal cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to displace Al Sailiya from the fourth position in the standings. Only three points separate The Orange Fortress from The Peregrines.

Umm Salal will also be eager to maintain consistency as they did in the first phase when they occupied the fourth spot continuously for the first six weeks before they were displaced following their loss to Al Sailiya in Week 7.

They had reinforced the side with Tunisian attacking midfielder Oussama Darragi ahead of the QNB Stars League’s second phase. And he impressed straightaway by scoring two goals in their 3-1 win over Al Kharaitiyat.

Umm Salal have another match winner in Ivorian striker Yannick Sagbo, while Mahmoud Mawas, Adel Rhaili and goalkeeper Baba Malick are all seasoned campaigners.

Struggling side Al Arabi further strengthened the squad by recruiting Yemeni defender Mudhir Abdrabo, in line with the Qatar Football Association’s decision to allow Yemenis to be registered as resident players in its first and second division clubs till the end of this season.

The Dream team, coached by Luka Bonacic, had already signed defenders Hamad Al Harbi, Ali Alloub and Ivan Foster (from Croatia), and Ghanaian striker Kwame Karikari from Al Markhiya in the January transfer window.

Umm Salal had beaten Al Arabi 4-1 in the first phase.