By Sports Reporter Doha
Al Sailiya coach Sami Trabelsi believes mental strength will be put to test when his side resumes its’ QNB Stars League campaign today against Al Wakrah. Qatar’s top-flight had restarted yesterday after a long break forced by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Sailiya are sixth in the table with 23 points. The Peregrines have had mixed campaign so far, with seven wins, two draws and eight defeats. Trabelsi’s men still have chances of ending up in the top-four bracket and thereby playing in the Qatar Cup and AFC Champions League, just like they did last season when they secured a third-place finish, their best-ever performance in the league.
“There is no doubt that we wish to get a positive result. Wakrah are a strong team with good quality and stability at the levels of professional and local players. Their technical staff are excellent and it is a difficult match for both teams, so we must be mentally prepared to win,” Trabelsi said.
“We returned after a difficult period for everyone because of coronavirus crisis. We made good preparations in the last stage although they were difficult, especially under the precautionary measures. We were committed during the training period. There is a great discipline in following the instructions from the Ministry of Public Health,” added.
Wakrah are just behind Sailiya in seventh, with a victory today can cut down the gap to just one point. Wakrah had suffered three successive defeats before the tournament was stopped. It is against this backdrop that they take on Al Sailiya, who had beaten Wakrah 3-1 in the first leg.
Wakrah’s Spanish coach Marquez Lopez said the Sailiya game will be difficult one for his team and they must stay focused. “There is no doubt that the return is difficult for everyone, but we are going step by step. Al Sailiya game is difficult for both teams. One good thing is the improvement in our level,” said Marquez.
“Al Wakrah will resume the league well, but it will not be easy. Of course, it is difficult for everyone and not just for us, because everyone returns after a long break and my priority is to focus on preparing the team well for the last five confrontations to get good results. I hope it will go on well, he added.
Al Wakrah’s ambitions are high and they made their intentions clear right from the start of this season. Marquez’s men had bowed out of both Amir Cup and Ooredoo Cup in the quarter-final stage, so they are all focused on earning a better position in the league, where they are featuring after a gap of two seasons.
In another match today, Al Shahania face Al Ahli at the Al Sadd Stadium. Shahania, coached by Nabil Anwar who recently replaced Spaniard Jose Murcia, are the basement side in the 12-team table with 10 points. They have only one victory to their credit, while they lost nine matches and drew seven. They also have the worst goal difference of -20 (17 goals for and 37 against).
Shahania need to pull up their socks sooner rather than later if they are to stay in the First Division, as nearest teams in the table, Al Khor and Umm Salal, both have 14 points.
Al Ahli, under Montenegrin coach Nebojsa Jovovic, are in eighth position with 19 points, the same as Al Wakrah but behind on goal difference.
The Brigadiers have registered five wins, four draws and eight defeats, and their goal difference is -7 (22 goals for and 29 against). Al Ahli and Al Shahania had played out a 2-2 draw in the first leg of 2019-20 QNB Stars League.
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