By Sports Reporter/Doha
Qatar giants Al Sadd and Lekhwiya will aim to consolidate their positions when they take on Al Sailiya and Al Ahli respectively in the Qatar Stars League today.
Lekhwiya coach Djamel Belmadi is banking on the momentum his team have, especially after thrashing Kharaitiyat 7-0 last week.
“We prepared well in the last match and we got a very good result. We haven’t had a lot of time to prepare this week. We are satisfied with our performance in the last game. We have to use that momentum in this game too,” Belmadi told journalists at his pre-match press conference yesterday.
“We said in the previous press conference that we always had trouble when playing against Kharaitiyat. It’s always difficult to play against them. So we really prepared for this game. The players responded to my tactics. We are working hard every day. We know that we have a lot of talent in this team.
“When you have talented players, the problem sometimes could be that you expect so much from this talent that you forget to work hard as a team. Not just with Lekhwiya but it happens to other teams also. I cannot expect more from the players because they are working hard and this is the best way to achieve our target. We have a lot of competitions to play in and the players want to win trophies. We want to continue playing like this going forward.”
Al Sailiya head coach Sami Trabelsi, meanwhile, was hoping for a positive result against the defending champions.
“This game is very important for us. Our opponent is very strong. We will try to provide a better performance than before and we will try to get a positive result.” He also claimed that it will be Lekwhiya who will be playing under pressure.
“For this game, the pressure is on Lekhwiya. Nobody asks us why we lost a game but they will question Lekhwiya for sure. We will not put pressure on the players for this game. We will try to play well and do our best and we will play for a win.”
Al Ahli coach Zlatko Kranjcar said playing against Al Sadd could be a burden – more so after they lost to al Gharafa last week.
“When you lose the game unexpectedly there is always a burden on you, especially when your next game is against Sadd - one of the best teams in the league. Of course, we have been thinking about how to challenge them and how we can get a positive result.”
He said the addition of Xavi had made Al Sadd much stronger than before.
“They have become a stronger team this season with the signing of Xavi, the player is a master. They are a really difficult team to play against. Even though we have had only a couple of days after our previous game, I firmly believe that players will accept my tactical ideas. We will try to block Sadd and not let them play their natural game. And I am confident that we will have a positive result and come back to creating good results.”
Al Sadd head coach Hussein Ammota, meanwhile, was also wary about playing Al Ahli, saying the game will be “difficult.”
“We are happy to see Ahli playing at their home venue. That’s a good thing for QSL. This game will be a difficult one. We have to be ready and play with lots of concentration.
“I remember that last season we didn’t have an easy game against Ahli. They created a lot of trouble for us. I have asked the players to fight more and play with more concentration and to be extra careful in defence,” said Ammota.
Today: Al Ahli vs Al Sadd; Al Sailiya vs Lekhwiya; Al Arabi vs Al Gharafa; al Kharaitiyat vs El Jaish
Tomorrow: Al Rayyan vs Mesaimeer; Al Khor vs Al Wakrah; Qatar SC vs Umm Salal
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