Al Sadd hope to put it across Pakhtakor

New QNB Stars League champions Al Sadd are up against Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in the fourth round of AFC Champions League on Monday. The kick-off is at 19:00 Doha time at the Al Sadd Stadium.

Pakhtakor are leading Group D with five points from one victory and two draws. They are followed by Al Sadd (four points), Iran’s Persepolis (four points) and Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli (three points).

Al Sadd started off on a losing note as they were at the receiving end of a 0-2 verdict against Al Ahli. The Wolves then beat Persepolis 1-0 and drew 2-2 with Pakhtakor in the last round in Tashkent.

Holding Pakhtakor at their home ground was a creditable achievement and Al Sadd would look to build on it in front of their own fans. The team’s morale is high after clinching its record-extending 14th Qatar league title.

Al Sadd’s Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira is a master tactician and he knows the strengths as well as weaknesses of Pakhtakor, so it will be a tough task for the visitors.

Al Sadd will miss the services of suspended duo of defender Pedro Miguel and striker Akram Afif. However, they have the likes of Xavi Hernandez, Hassan Al Haydous, Baghdad Bounedjah, Gabi Fernandez, Abdulkarim Hassan, Hamed Ismail and Boualem Khoukhi to deliver the goods.

And first-choice goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari was back in training after recovering from an injury.