Sparks are expected to fly when domestic giants Al Duhail and Al Sadd clash in the semi-finals of the prestigious Amir Cup at the Abdulla bin Khalifa Stadium today.
Defending Amir Cup champions Al Duhail were beaten 3-1 in the QNB Stars League earlier this month and will be keen to exact a measure of revenge, although their new coach Sabri Lamouchi was averse to using that term.
“We lost to Al Sadd in the league but that does not mean this is a revenge match. It will be a tough match for sure. There is no doubt about it,” Lamouchi said at his pre-match press conference.
The Frenchman added that he expects his players to play with a positive attitude which he felt is the key to the match.
“I know everything about the players and our rivals. I just hope we deliver a good performance against Al Sadd,” Lamouchi said on Thursday.
“They have good players but we have a plan too and we will implement that. We need to be positive on the pitch. That’s what’s required in front of a strong side like Al Sadd,” the Al Duhail coach said.
Al Duhail captain and key striker Almoez Ali said his team will fight to get a much-needed win.
“This is a big tournament. We are the defending champions. We will fight to extend our status as champions. Yes, we are very ambitious,” Almoez said on Thursday.
“It will be a tough clash because two high quality sides are competing,” the star striker said.
Al Sadd coach Xavi said his squad are fully focused on the task at hand.
“The Amir Cup is a different competition. We are in the semi-finals and we consider this a final against a strong and difficult Al Duhail team. We have faced them a lot and we will give our best, especially as they will look for revenge after losing to us last week in the league,” said Xavi.
“It will be a complicated match. We must play with a strong personality in order to win this tournament, which is dear to everyone in Qatar.
“Al Sadd players must focus and work on achieving their mission, which is to reach the final,” he said.
“Our ambition in this competition is to win the title. We are Al Sadd and we are one of the favourites to win the championship and we are preparing to face another favourite, and we see this match as the final. We have to win in order to get the trophy that’s most precious to the club, the players and the fans. We must play with all our strength and more, to achieve this title.”
Al Sadd defender Pedro Miguel also spoke of his team’s desire to defeat Al Duhail and reach the final of the Amir Cup.
“We are excited and ready to face Al Duhail. It is an important match and we will work hard to win it, to reach the final,” Pedro said.
“It will be a difficult match against a good team and we must play with concentration to reach the final to win the most prestigious title in Qatar, which is a dream for all players and fans.”
On Al Sadd’s preparations for the match, Pedro said: “We are preparing with all our strength to face a difficult team that has excellent players, both foreign and domestic players. Therefore, we must focus and not make mistakes, and attack and defend in an excellent way so that we can get the win.”
Al Duhail striker and captain Almoez Ali (L) is all geared up for the clash between u201ctwo high-qualityu201d sides.