Al Arabi vs Al Sadd - Friday, 20th October, 2017 @ 19:35

Stage set for age-old rivalry

Football fans and Al Arabi as well as Al Sadd supporters in particular are eagerly awaiting the QNB Stars League derby between the teams on Friday, 20th October, starting at the Al Arabi Stadium at 19:35.

The teams go into the match in contrasting moods. While Sadd are on a high and are currently second behind Al Duhail only on goal difference, Al Arabi are languishing at the ninth position with only three points. In Round 4, Al Sadd defeated Qatar SC whereas Al Arabi lost to Umm Salal.

Results and standings notwithstanding, the clash between Al Sadd and Al Arabi is a big draw on and off the field. The very thought of it would inspire players on both sides to throw up their best. The huge fan base of both clubs adds to the excitement.

The players are all the more ready to soak up the pressure and bask in the glory. The presence of Xavi Hernandez, Jugurtha Hamroun, Hassan Al Haidous, Baghdad Bounedjah and Morteza Mohammed from Al Sadd, and Khalfan Ibrahim, Mardik Mardikian, Saad Nateq, Ammar Al Jamal and Diego Jardel from Al Arabi make it a star-studded affair.

This is also the first-ever derby in Al Arabi colours for Khalfan Ibrahim, who had represented Al Sadd for long before his homecoming at the beginning of this season. It may be recalled that Khalfan came up as a player through Al Arabi’s youth ranks. Then, there is Boualem Khoukhi, who moved to Al Sadd from Al Arabi. Those who joined Al Arabi from Al Sadd include Muhannad Naim, Hussam Kamal and Yasser Yahya.

The competition between the two coaches is sure to be as thrilling as it is on the field. Al Arabi’s Tunisian coach Qais Yaakoubi will be up against Al Sadd’s Portuguese master Jesualdo Ferreira.

Will this game witness a new launch for Al Arabi? Or will Al Sadd snatch their fifth successive victory? Players, fans and officials alike are keeping their fingers crossed.