By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Wakrah face former QSL champions Lekhwiya today evening knowing that three points will effectively secure their status in the QSL for another season.
The Blue Waves are currently eleventh in the QSL standings, just four points away from the relegation zone, and head coach Mauricio Larriera was clear about the task at hand for his side.
“Al Wakrah are facing one of the best teams in Qatar, with the best players,” he told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
Larriera praised the quality of the Lekhwiya side and noted the recent international break could be an advantage for his side. “They have a large number of players in the Qatar national team. This shows how much quality they have, but they have had many players on international duty and this could be an advantage for us.
“Al Wakrah are fighting for their QSL status for another season, and will be without star striker Sasha (Sebastian Saez) for the match. It is a big blow for us, but we will have to overcome this.” As for Lekhwiya, they head into the clash off the back of a 3-2 defeat to top-4 rivals Al Sadd. Head coach Djamel Belmadi was eager to stress that this will not be an easy game for the Red Knights.
“Al Wakrah are not an easy side to play, they are fighting to stay in the league. We need to win the game to confirm our status in the top 4, it will a tough game.” admitted the Algerian tactitian.
Lekhwiya had a host of international players on duty playing for Qatar against China in their last Group B qualifying match for the World Cup in Russia. They returned only on Wednesday leaving them little time to regroup. “We have plenty of players out this week and they have only just returned from long flights with a few players injured we will try our best with the players we have,” Belmadi said.
When pushed on the injured players, Belmadi remained coy. “I cannot tell you right now, but three players have come back with knocks and will face a late fitness test. One player who will be out is Mohammed Moussa through suspension.”
Despite the lack of key players at his disposal, Belmadi was confident his side can confirm their status in the Qatar Cup by finishing among the top four.
“I will be shuffling the squad in this game, with our Champion’s League commitments. I am confident we will be able to get three points.”
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