QNB Stars League Week 12 — Thursday Preview

Al Kharaitiyat vs Umm Salal

Excitement is guaranteed when fifth-placed Umm Salal are being hosted by 10th-positioned Al Kharaitiyat in the opening match of QNB Stars League’s Week 12 action at the Al Khor Stadium on Thursday.

Umm Salal had won 3-1 when the teams met in the first phase.

Umm Salal have 16 points, just three behind fourth-placed Al Sailiya. The Orange Fortress registered four victories in the first phase, double the number of Al Kharaitiyat, who are on nine points.    

Umm Salal reinforced the side by recruiting Tunisian midfielder Oussama Darragi for one-and-a-half seasons, the first signing by any Qatari club in the winter transfer period, which started on 1st January and will end on 31st January.

Darragi, who was unveiled by the club at a Press conference on Tuesday, was signed as replacement for Moroccan Youssef Sekour, who parted ways with Umm Salal by mutual consent. Darragi has great credentials especially with home side Esperance, where he had two stints. He last represented Club Africain.

There were rumours that Ivorian professional Yannick Sagbo and Ismail Mahmoud would switch to Al Gharafa, but they are reportedly staying with Umm Salal.

Syrian Mahmoud Al Mawas, Adel Rhaili, captain Juad Ahnash and Adel Alawi are all capable of perfectly implementing Egyptian coach Mahmoud Jaber’s strategies.

As always, Moroccan striker Rachid Tiberkanine leads Al Kharaitiyat’s charge.   Goalkeeper Ahmed Sofyan, Anwar Diba and Sanjar Tursunov have the potential to influence the result if they play to their true potential.

Al Kharaitiyat, coached by Tunisian Ahmad Al Ajlani, would be keen to put behind their back-to-back losses to Qatar SC and Al Sadd just before the QNB Stars League went into the break in early December.

A lack of consistent performance is their bane. And they have a porous defence that has conceded the most number of goals (26) among all teams. No wonder, they also have the worst goal difference (-12) along with Qatar SC.