QNB Stars League — Week 17 Preview
The QNB Stars League Week 17 fixtures are Al Duhail vs Umm Salal (Al Duhail Stadium, 18:55) on Thursday, Al Rayyan vs Al Sailiya (Al Sadd Stadium, 16:45), Al Gharafa vs Al Kharaitiyat (Al Gharafa Stadium, 18:55) and Al Ahli vs Qatar SC (Al Ahli Stadium, 18:55) on Friday, Al Markhiya vs Al Khor (Al Arabi Stadium, 16:45) and Al Sadd vs Al Arabi (Al Sadd Stadium, 18:55) on Saturday.
Leaders and only unbeaten side Al Duhail open the week’s action by playing host to Umm Salal. The Red Knights have 42 points from 13 wins and three draws, and are coming off a big victory over Al Gharafa and will be keen to extend their winning streak even though they are playing in the AFC Champions League as well.
Umm Salal are fifth in the standings with 24 points. The Orange Fortress had staged a comeback win over Al Khor last week and will be eager to put up a strong performance.
However, the Qatar Derby, featuring Al Sadd and Al Arabi, hogs the limelight among all fixtures. This time, it is Al Sadd’s home match and The Wolves are on a high after their Qatar Clasico victory over fellow title contenders Al Rayyan in the last round.
Al Sadd are second with 40 points, two behind Al Duhail, and they have just widened the gap with Al Rayyan from two to five points.
Al Arabi’s woes compounded last week when they lost badly to Al Ahli, so The Dream Team, precariously placed 11th with 12 points, are in need of points.
Al Rayyan take on Al Sailiya in the first match on Friday. Both teams had just suffered defeats, Al Sailiya going down to Qatar SC.
Al Rayyan, third with 35 points, must win to storm back into title contention, whereas Al Sailiya also need a victory in order to stay fourth in the table as they are caught up with Umm Salal on 24 points though ahead on a narrow goal difference.
When Al Gharafa host Al Kharaitiyat, The Cheetahs can expect a tough fight as The Thunders would look to build on their victory against Al Markhiya.
Al Gharafa are sixth with 20 points and Al Kharaitiyat 10th with 13 points.
The confidence of both Al Ahli and Qatar SC is high and it is against this backdrop that they face off. Al Ahli are seventh with 19 points and Qatar SC eighth on 15 points.
In the other fixture, Al Markhiya, last with only eight points, face the challenge from Al Khor, ninth with 14 points.