Al Gharafa vs Al Sadd — Thursday, 25th January, 2018 @ 18:40, Al Gharafa Stadium
The encounter between Al Gharafa and Al Sadd on 25th January in the QNB Stars League’s Week 14 promises to have all ingredients of a thriller. The kick-off is at 18:40 at the Al Gharafa Stadium.
Both Al Sadd and Al Gharafa are on a high after registering convincing wins over Umm Salal and Al Sailiya respectively.
Al Sadd are second on 31 points, four behind Al Duhail. Al Rayyan too have the same number of points as Al Sadd, but the former were placed third on goal difference.
The 6-0 victory over Al Sailiya, achieved even without injured spearhead Baghdad Bounedjah, delighted Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira.
“I congratulate the players for the great work they did and I hope they continue to play like this in the upcoming matches. Everyone knows the tough situation that the team went through. The credit for the victory goes to team work and intense training. The best psychological medicine in football is a win and the players fully deserve this result,” said Ferreira, referring to their goalless draw with Al Markhiya in the previous round.
Baghdad is again a doubtful starter. However, the good form of Algerian attacking midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun, who scored a brace against Al Sailiya, augurs well for Al Sadd, who can also rely on captain Xavi (Hernandez), Morteza Pouraliganji, Hassan Al Haydous and Abdulkarim Hassan, among others.
Al Gharafa, under Bulent Uygun, can take delight from the fact that they are winning ever since the second phase started and expensive signing Wesley Sneijder is settling into his stride.
The Dutchman, a UEFA Champions League winner and FIFA World Cup runner-up, scored his first goal in Qatar last week. Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi, who has completed a four-month FIFA suspension over a contract dispute with Turkish club Caykur Rizespor, is expected to make his debut against Al Sadd.
Add to them a host of talented youngsters, such as Othman Al Yahri, Ahmed Alaaeldin and Amro Seraj, and The Cheetahs can give Al Sadd a good run for their money.