Qatar SC vs Al Rayyan — Sunday, 25th February, 2018 @ 19:00, Qatar SC Stadium
Qatar SC take on Al Rayyan in the highlight game of QNB Stars League Week 18 in the best frame of mind as The Kings having been placed eighth, their best position this season, and on the back of two successive victories. The kick-off is at 19:00 at the Qatar SC Stadium on Sunday.
There is a big difference between the teams in standings. Al Rayyan are third with 36 points and have 11 victories under their belt. Qatar SC, who even occupied the bottom place at some stage and their morale was at a low ebb, now have 18 points from five wins and three draws.
However, considering recent performances, there is not much to differentiate the sides.
Al Rayyan dropped four crucial points and found themselves out of title contention after their 2-2 draw with Al Sailiya last week. The Lions had lost to Al Sadd 0-2 in the Qatar Clasico in Week 16. For sure, they are going through a temporary slump in form.
Things did not go that well for Michael Laudrup’s men in the AFC Champions League either as Al Rayyan drew both their matches, against Iran’s Esteghlal (2-2) and the UAE’s Al Ain (1-1).
Qatar’s other representatives Al Duhail and Al Sadd won both their matches, while Al Gharafa recovered from a defeat in their opener and won the second game.
As far as Qatar SC are concerned, they completed back-to-back wins. They pulled off a 2-0 stunner against Al Sailiya before pipping Al Ahli 1-0. New recruit and Syrian striker Osama Omari scored all three goals.
They had reinforced the squad in the January transfer window by adding Luis Jimenez and Patrick Fabiano too as only Brazilian midfielder Bruno Gallo could retain his place after the club offloaded three professional players with an aim to make a turnaround in their fortunes.
The move paid off as Qatar SC coach Abdullah Mubarak, who had replaced Argentinian Gabriel Calderon towards the end of the first phase following a string of negative results, succeeded in arresting their slump.
In terms of coaches, Laudrup is a shrewd tactician producing excellent results. At the same time, Abdullah is not a big name in coaching, but he is an expert in bringing the best out of available resources.
Al Rayyan had won 2-0 when they faced off in the first phase.