Qatar Cup 2021— Semifinal — Al Rayyan vs Al Sadd
Strong contenders and traditional rivals Al Rayyan and Al Sadd face off on yet another occasion, this time in the 2021 Qatar Cup semifinal, on Thursday, 18th February, 2021, at the Al Duhail Stadium. The kick-off is at 16:45.
The match brings together the second (Al Rayyan) and third-placed (Al Sadd) teams in the 2019-20 season QNB Stars League. They are sure to fight it out to earn a berth in the final and thereby win the coveted cup.
The matches between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, be it in the league or cup tournaments, always evoke keen interest on and off the field. Both teams have star-studded line-ups as well as large and loyal fan base.
Al Rayyan, who lost 0-2 to Al Duhail in Week 16 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League and thus went out of the top-four bracket, will be more keen to make amends by making it big in a major tournament.
As far as Al Sadd are concerned, they are in better shape psychologically and technically, thanks to the good results they have achieved in the league so far. They are leading the table with 44 points and have a comfortable lead of 13 points over closest competitors Al Duhail. The Wolves have outstanding players in their ranks capable of making a difference.
The most focus will be on the attack and midfield of the two teams. Al Sadd have a strike force consisting mainly of Baghdad Bounedjah, Hassan Al Haydous and Akram Afif, while Al Rayyan will rely heavily on Yacine Brahimi and Johan Boli to deliver.
In midfield, Al Sadd have the expertise of Santi Cazorla and Nam Tae-Hee, whereas Al Rayyan have Abdulaziz Hatem, Franck Kom and likely Ahmed Abdelmaqsoud.
Cup matches are different from that in the league. Coaches Laurent Blanc (Al Rayyan) and Xavi Hernandez (Al Sadd) may be adopting special tactics that can lead their team to victory.