QNB Stars League — Week 18 Preview


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The QNB Stars League Week 18 fixtures are Al Arabi vs Al Kharaitiyat (Al Arabi Stadium, 16:50), Umm Salal vs Al Sailiya (Al Gharafa Stadium, 19:00) on Friday, Al Duhail vs Al Khor (Al Duhail Stadium, 16:50), Al Markhiya vs Al Gharafa (Al Arabi Stadium, 19:00) on Saturday, Al Sadd vs Al Ahli (Al Sadd Stadium, 16:50) and Qatar SC vs Al Rayyan (Qatar SC Stadium, 19:00) on Sunday.

The battle, be it on top, in the middle or at bottom, is sure to hot up as only five rounds are remaining in the 2017-18 season QNB Stars League.

Just two points separate leaders Al Duhail and Al Sadd, and both, coming off big-margin victories against Umm Salal and Al Arabi respectively, will be eager to continue their winning streak as even a small slip will dent their title hopes, especially since Al Rayyan lost out on the title bid after dropping points last week with a draw.

Al Duhail stay at home to face Al Khor, who are placed ninth with 15 points and are not far from the danger zone. The Knights, with just four victories to their credit, will have an uphill task on hand given The Red Knights’ good form that has seen them remain as the only unbeaten side so far.

At the same time, Al Duhail, coached by Djamel Belmadi, will be looking to secure their 15th victory.

Al Sadd, who also have the same number of wins (14), will host Al Ahli, seventh on 19 points, with nothing less than victory in sight.

Al Sadd are also on a high and would be keen on garnering full points ahead of their Week 19 clash with Al Duhail. The Wolves would be delighted with the good form of ace striker Baghdad Bounedjah, who is back among goals following a prolonged injury layoff.

Al Rayyan, third with 36 points, have the disappointment from their last two rounds to put behind when they travel to Qatar SC in the week’s marquee match even as The Kings are eyeing a hat-trick of wins and going through their best time this season. They are eighth with 18 points.  

The encounter between Umm Salal and Al Sailiya will be keenly watched as the former, placed fifth with 24 points, want to displace the latter from the fourth position. The Peregrines have only one point more than The Orange Fortress.

Al Markhiya, last with nine points, are up against Al Gharafa (sixth, 23 points) and Al Arabi (11th, 12 points) will try to stay afloat when they host Al Kharaitiyat (10th, 13 points).