Al Rayyan vs Al Ahli — 5th August, 2018 @ 19:45, Al Sadd Stadium
Al Rayyan will definitely look to begin their campaign in the 2018-19 QNB Stars League season on a winning note when they take on Al Ahli on Sunday, 5th August. The kick-off is at 19:45 at the Al Sadd Stadium.
Al Rayyan are on a high after winning the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup by beating Al Duhail on Wednesday, 1st August.
The Lions were even in the title race initially last season, but faded out in the face of marauding run by eventual champions Al Duhail and finished behind runners-up Al Sadd.
Al Rayyan underwent a slump in form and had many injury setbacks as they exited in the group stage of AFC Champions League along with Al Gharafa, while Al Duhail and Al Sadd advanced to the knockout round.
This time around, Al Rayyan are under new coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena in place of Michael Laudrup and they would look to put all such disappointments behind.
They suffered a blow as Abderrazaq Hamdallah, their top scorer last season, is a doubtful starter as he is still nursing an injury. Al Rayyan may even look to replace the Moroccan striker. Mohsen Moutaouli moved to Al Ahli, while Uruguayan defender Gonzalo Vieira and South Korean Koh Myong-Jin stayed with them.
Al Ahli would be eager to improve on their ninth-place finish last season. The Brigadiers have bolstered their ranks with Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong as well as medio Omid Ebrahimi and defender Mohammad Reza, both from Iran.