By Sports Reporter
Having already wrapped up the title and not lost a single match this season, Al Sadd will be wary of things going wrong at the last moment when they clash with Qatar Sports Club in their last match of the QNB Stars League season on Friday.
Coach Xavi Hernandez has expressed his desire to go unbeaten throughout the tournament several times but admitted yesterday that Qatar Sports Club, with whom Al Sadd drew earlier in the league, are a different proposition.
“Our next game is against Qatar Sports Club, one of the teams we couldn’t defeat this season. We drew against them and in my opinion, they are a very good team. They are trying to qualify for the Champions League next season.”
He added: “In their last game, they drew with 10 players against 11. It means that the match will be difficult and complicated.
“But, focusing on our team, we would like to finish this competition unbeaten, and of course, we want to get three points. We are going to use rotation again because in this last period, in six days, we had three games. But there are no excuses. We want to finish well and we want to finish with three points.”
Asked about his thoughts on the rotation of players, Xavi said: “Yes, of course, we are going to change some players because the most important thing for us is the AFC Champions League and then the Amir Cup.”
He added: “We have already won this competition but we have extra motivation to win against Qatar Sports Club because it will mean we are unbeaten all season.
“We want this victory. It means a lot for us. It means we finish the season well. To end the competition unbeaten is an amazing job.”
Xavi also spoke of his happiness and pride at the team’s achievements this season. “I am very proud of the squad, of these players. It is easy to be their coach, of course, because of how they train, how they feel about football and how they work for the team.
“I’m very happy coaching these kinds of players because the spirit of the team is the most important thing, and yesterday we showed again our best level.”
Al Sadd defender Hussam Kamal said that a win over Qatar SC will help his side ahead of the Asian campaign.
Hussam said: “It’s the final game of the league for us, against Qatar SC, and we want to end the season without any defeats. Getting a win will be a huge boost for us, and will give us an advantage going into the upcoming games (in Asia).”
He added: “Qatar SC are going through a good period now and they need no introduction. The game in the first phase of the league ended in a draw, and we want to make up for that by getting a win.”
Hussam concluded by saying: “The coach made many changes in the last few games to give opportunities to all the players and to also prepare for the AFC Champions League, so that we go into it in the best manner.”
In another match, Al Rayyan face Al Khor today hoping they finish in the third place and thus gain automatic qualification for the AFC Champions League, irrespective of the results of nearest challengers Al Ahli (33 points) and Qatar SC (32 points), if they beat Al Khor.
Al Rayyan, coached by Frenchman Laurent Blanc, are currently placed third with 34 points. The Lions have registered 10 victories, four draws and seven defeats, and have a goal difference of +9 (30 goals for and 21 against).
Al Khor, under Winfried Schafer, were assured of only the 11th place despite holding Al Duhail to a 1-1 draw in Week 21 as they are on 16 points. The Knights will play the relegation play-off with Second Division runners-up to retain their berth in the top flight.
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