Qatari quartet upbeat ahead of AFC Champions League campaign
QNB Stars League sides Al Duhail, Al Sadd, Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa are embarking on their 2018 AFC Champions League campaign with great hope.
Al Duhail and Al Gharafa will play on Monday, while Al Sadd and Al Rayyan will be in action on Tuesday. All four teams have it in them to give their group rivals a good run for their money.
Al Duhail and Al Rayyan will play in Doha, whereas Al Sadd and Al Gharafa start the tournament with away matches.
Al Duhail are up against Iran’s Zob Ahan and Al Rayyan play host to Esteghlal, also of Iran.
Al Sadd will take on the UAE’s Al Wasl at the Zabeel stadium in Dubai. Al Gharafa’s outing is against Abu dhabi side Al Jazira. They will face off at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in the UAE capital.
Al Duhail, Al Sadd and Al Rayyan qualified directly even as Al Gharafa reached the tournament proper by defeating Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in play-off in Doha on January 30. The Cheetahs will miss injured defender Almahdi Ali.
Al Gharafa will look to make a strong start and capitalise on it to qualify for the next round and on to the quarterfinals where they last reached in 2010. Al Ahli and Tractor Sazi are the other teams in Group A.
Al Gharafa’s matches
Vs Al Jazira (Monday, 12th February, Abu Dhabi)
Vs Tractor Sazi (19th February, Doha)
Vs Al Ahli (5th March, Doha)
Vs Al Ahli (13th March, Jeddah)
Vs Al Jazira (3rd April - Doha)
Vs Tractor Sazi (7th April, Tabriz)
Al Duhail are clubbed in Group B along with Iran’s Zob Ahan, the UAE’s Al Wahda and Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv.
Al Duhail’s matches
Vs Zob Ahan (12th February - Doha)
Vs Al Wahda (19th February - Abu Dhabi)
Vs Lokomotiv (6th March - Doha)
Vs Lokomotiv (12th March - Tashkent)
Vs Zob Ahan (3rd April - Isfahan)
Vs Al Wahda (17th April - Doha)
Al Sadd have been drawn into Group C alongside the UAE’s Al Wasl, Iran’s Persepolis and Uzbekistan’s Nasaf.
Al Sadd’s matches
Vs Al Wasl (13th February - Dubai)
Vs Persepolis (20th February - Doha)
Vs Nasaf (5th March - Karshi)
Vs Nasaf (13 March - Doha)
Vs Al Wasl (2nd April - Doha)
Vs Persepolis (16th April - Tehran)
Al Rayyan have Iran’s Esteghlal, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and Al Ain for company in Group D.
Al Rayyan’s matches
Vs Esteghlal (13th February - Doha)
Vs Al Ain (20th February - Al Ain)
Vs Al Hilal (6th March Riyadh)
Vs Al Hilal (12th March - Doha)
Vs Esteghlal (2nd April - Tehran)
Vs Al Ain (16th April - Doha)