Al Rayyan vs Al Sadd — Qatar Clasico Head-to-Head
The second-phase Qatar Clasico in the QNB Stars League 2017-18 season between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd on Thursday (8th February) at the Al Sadd Stadium is sure to be a high-stake encounter in every sense of the word.
Justifiably so, considering the teams’ strength, reputation, history, performance, popularity, fan support and the like. Al Sadd are second in the table with 37 points, two behind Al Duhail and as many more than third-placed Al Rayyan.
The Wolves have the likes of Spanish great Xavi Hernandez, Jugurtha Hamroun, Morteza Mohammad and Hassan Al Haidous to match The Lions’ Abderrazaq Hamdallah, Rodrigo Tabata, Sebastian Soria and Mohsen Moutaouli.
Moroccan striker Hamdallah is Al Rayyan’s top scorer with 12 goals and is the third highest in the list, after Al Duhail’s Youssef El Arabi (20) and Youssef Msakni (14).
Al Rayyan’s playmaker Rodrigo Tabata has scored 11 goals and striker Sebastian Soria nine.
Al Sadd’s top scorers are Qatar international Hassan Al Haydous and Algerian attacking midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun (eight goals each). The Algerian attacking midfielder, who had netted a brace in their victories in Weeks 13 and 14 and missed their last match due to suspension, will be back in action.
Al Rayyan are coming off their 3-1 win over Al Markhiya, while Al Sadd got the better of Qatar SC by the same score.
Al Rayyan’s first-choice goalkeeper Omar Barry is experienced enough, but will find it hard to contain the Al Sadd offence, where Algerian ace Baghdad Bounedjah is a doubtful starter even though he trained with the team on Sunday.
Al Sadd custodian Saad Al Dossari has also proved his mettle, but if Hamdallah & Co have their way, he will also be at the receiving end.
In defence, The Lions are served by Gonzalo Vieira, Mousa Haroun, Mohammed Alaelddin and Mohammed Juma, whereas Morteza Mohammad, Pedro Miguel, Abdelkarim Hassan and Hamed Ismail man The Wolves’ defence.
Xavi leads the charge in Al Sadd’s midfield, also consisting of Al Haydous and Hamroun, while Al Rayyan have in-form Mohsine Moutaouli and Daniel Goumou to assist Tabata.
Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira (Portugal) and his Al Rayyan counterpart Michael Laudrup (Denmark) are both master tacticians and have produced excellent results. And that makes the ‘Qatar Classico’ a battle for technical supremacy as well.
Both coaches have been with the respective sides for some time and know how to bring the best out of their players.
Off the field, the much-awaited encounter will be a grand fiesta for supporters of two teams with the most fan base in Qatar football.
Al Rayyan had won the first-phase Qatar Clasico 2-1, so Al Sadd will look to settle the score.