By Sports Reporter Doha
In other matches, Muaither will face Umm Salal, while two struggling sides face off when Al Wakrah host Al Arabi
Round nine of the Qatar Stars League season will open up with three games today, with all six teams involved targeting wins to push them up the standings.
The first match of the weekend will see high-flying Lekhwiya take on Al Sailiya in the 4pm kick-off at Lekhwiya stadium. Last week the Red Knights needed a Karim Boudiaf strike to score a narrow 3-2 win over Umm Salal. Coach Djamel Belmadi will be targeting all three points again for his side, especially with Lekhiwya four points behind league leaders El Jaish.
As for Al Sailiya, they have improved on a shaky start in the league and have four points from their last two QSL games.
The Peregrines are currently in eleventh place in the QSL standings, just in the relegation zone and head coach Sami Trabelsi will be well aware that a win can pull his side out of trouble.
Lekhwiya’s coach Belmadi believes Sailiya will be hard to beat. “Sailiya is a team that doesn’t have the best attack right now. Last year, they had good results and this year they are struggling. It will be difficult to play against them as four teams are going down so no one wants to lose points. All the big teams are finding it hard to get results. It’s not easy as we saw last week teams like Sadd, Jaish and Rayyan had tough matches,” he said.
Trabelsi, the head coach of Sailiya thinks that Lekhwiya have the best attack in the league. “It’s a short time between two matches and we need to make some corrections. We are facing the best attack in the league and they have the best scorer in Yusef El Arabi. They have a problem in defence and I hope we can take advantage of that,” he said.
Later on in the 6:10pm kick-off at Al Gharafa stadium, newly-promoted Muaither will face a tough test when they take on sixth-placed Umm Salal. Phillipe Birol’s three game winning streak came to an end after to a 1-0 defeat to reigning QSL champions Al Rayyan last time out.
The Frenchman will be targeting at least a point against draw specialists Umm Salal, as the Stallions aim for more points to boost their quest for survival.
Whilst Umm Salal will be targeting a moral boosting win to bolster their top four challenge after their 3-2 defeat to Lekhiwya. The Orange Fortress could be without key defender Anderson Martins for this match, and head coach Bülent Uygun will be relying on a member of his squad to cover for the absence of the no nonsense Brazilian stopper.
Birrol, the head coach of Muaither had this to say about his opponents: “Umm Salal are a solid team, they are sixth in the league. They play compact like us so this will be a tactical game. They attack very well and they defend well. We are looking forward to it.”
On the other hand, Umm Salal head coach Bulent Uygun said his team will adopt an aggressive tactic in pursuit of victory. “We need to win this match. We will attack and we will not give priority to defending. We will go for the goals in order to get the three points,” Uygun said.
The final game of the day will see two struggling sides face off when Al Wakrah welcome Al Arabi to Al Wakrah stadium in the 6:10pm kick-off KO.
The Blue Waves are unbeaten in their last two games under new coach Kais Yâakoubi registering draws against Al Sadd and Al Shahania respectively. The Tunisian tactitian will be aiming for a big win against an Al Arabi outfit who has suffered five straight defeats in the league.
Al Arabi has endured a miserable run this term and have sunk to twelfth place in the QSL standings. Last time out The Dream Team lost 3-1 in a feisty Doha derby day encounter against Al Sadd. Head coach Edison Aguirre will welcome back midfielder Ahmed Maqsoud back into the side, and will be hoping the Qatar international can make an impact for his side.
Kais Yâakoubi, the head coach of Al Wakrah believes it will be a tough game, “Al Arabi is a team that lost more than three games. However, on the individual level, they are one of the best teams in the league. The technical value of the team is high. They are facing some troubles and we will try to benefit from their mistakes.”
“Our main problem is that we are in the last position and it affects the player’s mentality, if we have points we can overcome this. Our problem is creating goals. Creating opportunities is fine but finishing is an issue,” added the Tunisian at a press conference yesterday.
Edison Aguirre, the head coach of Al Arabi said: “Since I have become team’s coach we have had two different matches. One was the derby against Al Sadd and now against Wakrah, two very different teams which require two different approaches. We will focus this match on the balance of defence and attack. We had Paulinho in attack against Gharafa and Sadd. The first half was good second half wasn’t good. So from now on we will be looking for more attack,” added the Brazilian tactician.
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