By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Sailiya cannot afford to lose more points when they host Qatar SC today, as Sami Trabelsi’s men seek to consolidate their fourth place in the QNB Stars League table.
Sailiya were held to a 2-2 draw by Al Kharaitiyat in their last match, which meant they are just three points ahead of Umm Salal.
Sailiya will look to Wagner Ribeiro and Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov to deliver once again. Midfielder Wagner is joint fourth in the QNB Stars League top scorers’ list with 11 goals, same as Al Rayyan’s Rodrigo Tabata.
Ahead of the match, Trabelsi said every match is important for Sailiya if they need to finish in top four. “We want to win every match in order to stay in the top four in the standings. We worked hard in the past few days to correct some mistakes in our game. It is important that we do not give our rivals many opportunities to score,” he said.
“Right from the beginning, our target has been a top-four finish. All points are important from now on and it was unfortunate that we dropped two valuable points in the last round following against Al Kharaitiyat,” Trabelsi added.
“We are not Al Sadd or Al Rayyan, but we have done extremely well in many matches to earn our fourth position in the table. Our players are doing their duties in the best possible way. We are going forward and we do not look back,” he said.
Meanwhile, Qatar SC are 10th in the table with 12 points, and have improved lot under Qatari coach Abdullah Mubarak. They had lost to Al Sadd 1-3 in the previous encounter after taking an early lead.
The Kings, who strengthened their squad in January with strikers Patrick Fabiano and Osama Omari and midfielder Luis Jimenez, are still facing relegation and will be looking to collect as many points as possible. Fabiano is a doubtful starter against Sailiya as he is yet to fully recover from his injury. Qatar SC will have to be at their best against Al Sailiya, who had beaten them 5-1, when the two sides met each other in the first phase of the league.
In another match today, Umm Salal travel to Al Khor. Salal are fifth with 21 points, but their goalless draw to Al Arabi last week cost Egyptian coach Mahmoud Jaber his job.
His replacement, Moroccan Talal el-Karkouri, has immediately got down to business as he aims to get them back to winning ways. El Karkouri knows most of the players, having been a player and assistant coach of Umm Salal and that should hold him in good stead.
The Orange Fortress benefited from the January transfer window by way of Tunisian attacking midfielder Oussama Darragi and Yemeni player Mohamed Barrois. Then they have Ivorian striker Yannick Sagbo and Syrian midfielder Mahmoud al-Mawas.
Al Khor, in eighth place with 14 points, had put up a spirited fight before going down 1-2 to Al Gharafa last week. The Knights are also in the danger zone.
Al Khor, with Brazilian Madson leading the charge, are sure to be tough opponents, especially while playing at home. Umm Salal had won 1-0 in the first phase.
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