QNB Stars League- Round Three Preview
Round three of the QNB Stars League season kicks off on Thursday evening when Al Markhiya takes on Al Sailiya at Al Arabi stadium. Both sides lost out in round two and will be eager to get back to winning ways ahead of the two week international break.
Yusef Adam’s Markhiya narrowly lost 1-0 to fellow promoted side Qatar SC, and will be hunting their first points of the season. Ghanian striker Kwame Karikari was the sides most dangerous player in the second half and the target man will be hoping he can influence the tie in favour of the Oryxes.
As for Al Sailiya, they will have to pick themselves up after their 3-2 loss to Al Sadd. Sami Trabelsi’s men will feel hard done by after a late equaliser was denied by a correct offside call. The Peregrines will be aiming for their second win of the season, and will be hoping Mohammed Muddather can register his first goals of the season. Muddather was a constant danger for his team last campaign, and will be seeing the match against Markhiya as the ideal match to open his account for the side this year.
Friday will see three QNB Stars League games take place, with all six sides involved looking to head into the international break on a high.
Two unbeaten sides will face off when Al Rayyan welcome Al Duhail to Al Sadd stadium in the match of the week for round two. Both sides have registered back to back wins in the campaign and somthing may give in this match up between two of the strongest sides in the league.
Al Rayyan have made light work of both Al Khor and Kharaitiyat in their previous games scoring seven goals and conceding just three. Michael Laudrup have drilled his side well in preseason, and will be hoping for another big performance to further underline their title ambitions. Encounters between these two teams are often defined by the finest margins, and Rayyan defender Gonzalo Viera will have to be at full concentration if they are to get the win.
Whilst for Al Duhail, they are heading into their first away match of the season following victories over Qatar SC and Al Arabi. Djamel Belmadi’s side will certainly have to show more balance than their free flowing attacking displays in recent weeks. Qatar international midfielder Karim Boudiaf is likely to be placed in a defensive midfield role for the match, and his contributions will be important if the Red Knights are to maintain their 100% record.
Al Sadd will be looking to continue winning ways against Al Gharafa in the late match at Al Sadd stadium. Jesauldo Ferriera’s side will again be targeting to stay in touch with the pacesetters in the league. Hassan Haydoos missed a penalty against Al Sailiya last time out, and the Qatar international will be looking to register his first goal of the new campaign.
Al Gharafa have been unspectacular yet solid so far this season, with their youthful side playing well under Jean Fernandez. This match against Sadd will be a real test of their capabilities in the QNB Stars League this season. Experienced keeper Qasem Burhan has pulled off a host of good saves in his opening matches of the season, and the former Qatar international will have to be in form if the Cheetahs are to come away with a shock win.
Friday’s QNB Stars League action is rounded off by Al Kharaitiyat, who are chasing their first points of the seaosn taking on Al Khor. The Thunders will be hopeful of upsetting their local rivals and Uzbeki midfielder Sanzhar Tursunov will be vital if Kharaitiyat have any chance of picking up the points.
Khor picked up their first win of the season in controversial style thanks to a late Madson winner. Laurent Banide will now be aiming to pick up back to back wins and push up the QNB Stars League standings. Iranian midfielder Soroush Rafiei was the knights standout player against Al Ahli last weekend and will have to preform again if Khor are to defeat their local rivals.
Round three of the QNB Stars League season comes to an end on Satuday evening, and both matches have important implications towards the bottom of the early league standings.
First up winless Al Arabi take on Qatar SC in the early KO. After two comprehensive defeats to open the season, pressure is certainly building on Arabi boss Kais Yâakoubi. The Tunisian will be banking on a posative result against the newly promoted side. Summer signing Mardik Mardikian will be charged with grabbing the goals to seal an important first win for the side.
As for Qatar SC, they will be in high spirits following their win over Markhiya in round two. Head coach Gabriel Calderón prides himself on tactical disapline and will be hoping for another impressive defensive performance from Iranian defender Mohammad Tayyebi.
The final match of the season will see Al Ahli play their first home match of the season against an inform Umm Salal side. After one point from their opening two games, the Brigadeers will be targeting a maiden win for the season. Spanish striker Francisco Sandaza has yet to play for his new side this season and could face a late fitness test for the match.
Umm Salal have made another solid star to the league campaign and are realistically targeting three points to boost their top four ambitions. Mahmoud Jaber’s side were wasteful in goal against Al Gharafa last time out, and will be turning to last seasons top goalscorer Yannick Sagbo to add to his scoring tally for the season.