Al Sadd vs Al Duhail — Friday, 24th November, 2017 @ 18:10, Al Sadd Stadium

QNB Stars League — Week 9

It will be a treat for the eyes when Al Sadd play host to Al Duhail in their QNB Stars League Week 9 clash on Friday, 24th November.

Al Duhail are leading the table with 22 points, one ahead of Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. The Red Knights are the only undefeated team. The only time they dropped points was when they were held by Al Gharafa, while The Wolves’ only blip was their loss to Al Rayyan in the ‘Qatar Clasico’.

Both sides started preparations for this crucial encounter in right earnest, a day after their victories in Week 8, where Al Duhail made short work of Al Kharaitiyat 8-2 and Al Sadd had it easy against Umm Salal 4-1.

And both are star-studded sides. Al Duhail have the league’s top scorer in Youssef El Arabi with 14 goals and second-best scorer Youssef Msakni (which he shares with Al Sailiya’s Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov with eight goals).

El Arabi struck a hat-trick, while Msakni and South Korean midfielder Nam Tae-Hee are also in good nick, having contributed with a brace last week.

Al Duhail have pumped in 33 goals so far, way ahead of Al Rayyan and Al Sailiya (both 23), and Al Sadd (21). Then, they have Luis Martin Junior and Ismail Mohammed, who gave four assists against Al Kharaitiyat.

However, they will miss the services of midfielder Karim Boudiaf, who is out for three weeks with a thigh injury he suffered during the Qatar national team’s training camp recently.

Al Sadd’s charge will be led by Xavi Hernandez, Baghdad Bounedjah, Jugurtha Hamroun, Ali Asad and Hassan Al Haydous.

Both coaches Djamel Belmadi (Al Duhail) and Jesualdo Ferreira (Al Sadd) are master tacticians and that factor could take the game to a great level.

Ferreira was happy after their big win over Umm Salal.

“We got a good win. The number of goals doesn’t matter. What’s important is the three points. I’m happy that we scored four goals as it hasn’t happened before,” said the Portuguese, expressing concern that international commitments were taking their toll on his players in league matches.

“We should know that there’re exhausted players who aren’t physically fit after playing for their national teams recently. I hope the team is at full strength before the beginning of second phase,” Ferreira said.