By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Ahli will take on Al Arabi on the up following a morale-boosting win over a struggling Al Wakrah when the two teams meet in Round 17 of the Qatar Stars League today.
The Brigadiers will be aiming to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season over their local rivals.
Talking about the game, Qatari coach Yusef Adam said his side is fully prepared for the game. “All of my players will be ready for the derby match. The win was important, but we have forgotten about it now. Our next aim is to get all three points against Al Arabi and continue our good start.”
Ahli defeated Arabi 2-1 in the first game of the season, but the Qatari coach insisted that it will be a different proposition this time around. “The match is different from the first round, many players from both sides have changed. Al Arabi has had a mixed season so far, some good some bad. All I know is that a win for us will kick-start our season, and give our players plenty of confidence heading into the next run of games.”
Al Arabi also head into the derby in good spirits following a 2-1 win over Al Kharaitiyat.
However, they do have a new boss for today’s game.
Arabi confirmed that Brazilian coach Oswaldo Oliveira will take charge of the club for the remainder of the season.
The Dream Team confirmed the news with a brief press conference yesterday.
The Brazilian coach is no stranger to football in Qatar, having previously worked with Al Arabi as a fitness trainer in 1996. Oliveira has managed a host of sides in his native Brazil including Santos, Corinthians and Flamengo. Whilst the 66-year old coach has also managed Japanese side Kashima Antlers.
GHARAFA TAKE ON SHAHANIA
In the second match today, Al Gharafa will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they take on Al Shahania.
Gharafa played out a 2-2 draw against bottom-of-the-table Muaither last time out but head coach Pedro Caixinia was quick to note that despite internal problems in the club, his side where only aiming for three points against Al Shahania.
“We need to win our next game against Al Shahania, despite the tough week that we have had, our primary focus is a victory for Al Gharafa.”
After a strong start in the league Al Gharafa’s progress has slowed in recent weeks, drawing with Muaither last time out. Caixinia was eager to stress that his opponents Al Shahania will take on Al Gharafa with a different game-plan.
“I don’t think that Shahania will play the same way as Muaither, Al Shahania will be aggressive in defence and on the counter attack, they have played well in recent games and we have prepared our side appropriately for this game.”
He said that the team will be without strikers Kriszti?n Németh though injury and Mohamed Razak though suspension.
Al Shahania have two draws from their last two QSL games, and will be targeting to continue their undefeated streak under newly-appointed boss Igor Stimac.
“We are expecting a difficult game, I am fully concentrated on my job on the pitch and my focus is on how I can get points from this game for Al Shahania. Looking at the statistics in recent weeks, the numbers are going up, which is good for me. It’s only a matter of time that the work we put in training will transfer into a win on the pitch,” Stimac said.
Stimac also responded to rumours that two key players — goalkeeper Khalifah al-Ammari and striker Fahad Khalfan — could be moving to a new club in the January transfer window. “If players are unhappy, it is their choice. Personally, I will be sad if Khalfan leaves the club because I believe he has great potential.”
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