Al Sadd Vs Al Rayyan — Friday, 27th October, 2017 @ 19:30

Wolves, Lions seek ‘Qatar Clasico’ glory

The stage is all set for the QNB Stars League’s ‘Qatar Clasico’ between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. True to its high-voltage status, the match, which will kick off at the Al Sadd Stadium at 19:30 on Friday, will pit two of Qatar’s best teams against each other in terms of reputation, strength, fan support and the like. Much is at stake for the clubs on the competition front too.

Al Sadd, nicknamed The Wolves, are breathing down leaders Al Duhail’s neck at the top of league standings, lagging behind on goal difference, while Al Rayyan are third on 12 points. The loss to Al Duhail had been their only setback. So both teams will seek full points from the game, the highlight of Round 6 action.

Al Sadd, who have scored four goals less than Al Duhail so far, had got the better of Al Arabi in last week’s ‘Qatar Derby’ 3-1 on the back of an inspiring game played by Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah, while Al Rayyan put it across Al Sailiya through Moroccan forward Abderrazak Hamdellah’s goal. The victory enabled The Lions to leapfrog Umm Salal to the third position in standings. They also need to keep winning if they are to be chasing the title along with the top two sides.

In terms of scoring, not much separates Al Sadd (14) and Al Rayyan (15), but the latter have conceded more number of goals (nine) as against Al Sadd’s five. So Al Rayyan need to work more on their defence to contain the rival attacks, led by Baghdad and orchestrated by Spain as well as Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez.

Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira (Portugal) and his Al Rayyan counterpart Michael Laudrup (Algeria) are both master tacticians and have produced excellent results. And that makes the ‘Qatar Clasico’ a battle for technical supremacy as well.

On the players’ front, Al Sadd boast of the high-profile status of Algerian attacking midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun and Qatar international Hassan Al Haidous besides Xavi and Baghdad. On the other hand, Al Rayyan will mainly rely on Rodrigo Tabata, Sebastian Soria and Mohsen Metwaly apart from Hamdellah.

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.

Both Al Sadd and Al Rayyan will throw their everything into the game. Whatever be the result, the ‘Qatar Classico’, as always, will be fought keenly.