Al Duhail ready for Al Shorta as they eye next round
April 26 2021 11:19 PM
Sabri Lamouchi
Sabri Lamouchi

AFC Riyadh

Al Duhail SC will aim to tighten their grip on the Group C lead when they play Al Shorta in the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

With challengers Esteghlal FC and Al Ahli Saudi FC facing off in Group C's other tie with both needing victory, a win for Qatar's Al Duhail against Al Shorta will take them to 11 points and closer to the automatic slot to the Round of 16.

Esteghlal and Al Ahli Saudi are tied on seven points while Al Shorta are still in search of their first after four defeats.

Al Duhail opened their 2021 AFC Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over Al Shorta and head coach Sabri Lamouchi will not be expecting his side to slip up in their second meeting, not when the Qatari are unbeaten in four matches.

Al Duhail's attacking players have served them well and with Al Shorta struggling to find goals, Lamouchi will surely set his team up with three points the target.

“We want to win the match in order to remain at the top of the group," said Lamouchi. "There is no doubt that the match will not be easy and we respect Al Shorta a lot because they are a good team.

“What we are looking forward to is getting the three points but everything is possible in football. The AFC Champions League is not an easy competition but our target is to win matches.

“We will be putting the best formation for tomorrow’s match because we must be serious and eager to get the three points. We are preparing the players well and they are physically and mentally ready for the match.”

The stats don't favour Al Shorta going into their penultimate 2021 AFC Champions League tie against the group leaders.

Aleksandar Ilic's side looked to set to claim their first point of the tournament in the Matchday Four encounter against Al Ahli Saudi but were denied by Abdulrahman Ghareeb's strike 11 minutes from time as they fell 2-1.

A positive note for Al Shorta was Fahad Youssef scoring their first goal of the tournament and with nothing to lose, Ilic will urge his team to give it their all against the group leaders.

“The previous four matches were hard for us in terms of competition in this tournament," said Ilic. "We have two remaining matches and we want to change the image that we had previously.

“The match against Al Duhail will be very difficult because they are one of the best teams in the group. It might be difficult to play against them but we must work very well in order to have a good ending in the competition.

“We will be making some changes in the formation but it will not be a lot. We have some injuries in the team and we worked hard in order to regain the positive mood of the players after the last defeat.”

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