QNB Stars League — Week 16 Preview
The QNB Stars League Week 16 fixtures are Al Gharafa vs Al Duhail (Al Gharafa Stadium, 16:40) and Al Rayyan vs Al Sadd (Al Sadd Stadium, 18:50) on Thursday, Al Sailiya vs Qatar SC (Al Ahli Stadium, 16:40) and Al Khor vs Umm Salal (Al Khor Stadium, 18:50) on Friday, Al Kharaitiyat vs Al Markhiya (Al Khor Stadium, 16:40) and Al Arabi vs Al Ahli (Al Arabi Stadium, 18:50) on Saturday.
Thursday is going to be the big day. Al Gharafa will play host to Al Duhail in the opening fixture.
Al Duhail, who defeated Al Ahli 4-0 last week, will be in no mood to let slip any advantage as Al Sadd and Al Rayyan are breathing down their neck atop the league standings. The Red Knights, who have 39 points and are the only unbeaten side so far in the competition, will be keen to register their 13th victory.
At the same time, Al Gharafa are on a high as they have got back to winning ways with a 2-1 verdict over Al Khor. The Cheetahs already have more number of wins (three) in the second phase than they had in the entire first phase (two) and are placed sixth with 20 points.
They can also take delight from the fact that Dutch star Wesley Sneijder and Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi, who both joined them in the January transfer window, are coming good.
Al Gharafa had also signed Asim Madbo from Al Duhail till the end of this season.
That match will be followed by the Qatar Clasico between Al Rayyan vs Al Sadd. The game has high stakes considering the positions of both teams, their tradition, rivalry, strong fan base and the like.
Al Sadd and Al Rayyan are moving neck and neck behind Al Duhail with 37 and 35 points respectively. Al Said defeated Qatar SC and Al Rayyan beat Al Markhiya by an identical 3-1 margin.
Al Sadd will also be keen to avenge their 1-2 loss in then first-phase Qatar Clasico.
Al Sailiya face Qatar SC and both sides need points — The Peregrines to keep their fourth position and The Kings to stay clear of the danger zone. Al Sailiya are facing a tough competition from Umm Salal and Al Gharafa as both have the potential to break into the top four.
Al Khor vs Umm Salal, Al Kharaitiyat vs Al Markhiya and Al Arabi vs Al Ahli games will also be fought keenly.