Al Rayyan vs Al Sailiya — Friday, 16th February, 2018 @ 16:45, Al Sadd Stadium
The encounter between Al Rayyan and Al Sailiya on Friday is the match to watch in Week 17 of the QNB Stars League, after the Qatar Derby featuring Al Sadd and Al Arabi. The kick-off is at 16:45 at the Al Sadd Stadium.
Both teams suffered upset defeats in the previous round, Al Rayyan crashing 0-2 to Al Sadd in the Qatar Clasico and Al Sailiya receiving a big blow at the hands of Qatar SC by an identical score.
Al Sailiya were done in by the individual brilliance of The Kings’ new recruit and Syrian striker Osama Omari.
It was also a setback for Al Rayyan’s title hopes as they are now seven points adrift of leaders Al Duhail on 35 and have five points less than second-placed Al Sadd.
The defeat was Al Rayyan’s third and Al Sailiya’s sixth. The Peregrines, nevertheless, remained fourth despite being tied by Umm Salal, who are breathing down their neck, on 24 points. Al Sailiya had the advantage of goal difference by a narrow margin (+3 as against Umm Salal’s +2).
The loss embodied Al Sailiya’s slump that started mid-season after enjoying a good run that saw them displace Umm Salal from the fourth position.
Al Rayyan will mainly rely on Moroccan striker Abderrazaq Hamdallah, playmaker Rodrigo Tabata, forward Sebastian Soria and Moroccan attacking midfielder Mohsen Moutaouli.
Hamdallah is their top scorer with 12 goals. He is also the third highest goal getter so far in this season’s QNB Stars League, after Al Duhail’s Youssef El Arabi (21) and Youssef Msakni (16).
Tabata is close behind on 11 goals, while Soria has nine to his credit.
Al Rayyan’s attack looks sharper than that of Al Sailiya and The Lions definitely start as the favourites.
Uzbek striker Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov as well as midfielder Valentin Lazar and Wagner Ribeiro chiefly carry Al Sailiya’s hopes. Wagner and Abdukholiqov have found the target 11 and seven times respectively.
Al Rayyan are also playing in the AFC Champions League along with Al Duhail, Al Sadd and Al Gharafa. They are in Group D after being drawn with Iran’s Esteghlal, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and the UAE’s Al Ain.