QNB Stars League back with Week 18 fixtures
The 2019-20 season QNB Stars League will be back soon as Week 18 fixtures will be held on Friday, 24th July, Saturday, 25th July, and Sunday, 26th July, with two matches on each day. Fans are in for a treat, with the tournament, which was stopped on 7th March due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that disrupted sports across the world, resuming after a long break.
The QNB Stars League’s resumption is in accordance with the precautionary measures as per the general plan and protocol developed by the Qatar Stars League in co-operation with Ministry of Public Health. All remaining matches in the five rounds will be played at the Al Janoub and Al Sadd Stadiums.
The fixtures are Al Gharafa vs Al Arabi (16:45, Al Janoub Stadium), Qatar SC vs Al Rayyan (19:00, Al Sadd Stadium) on Friday, Al Duhail vs Umm Salal (16:45, Al Janoub Stadium), Al Sadd vs Al Khor (19:00, Al Sadd Stadium) on Saturday, Al Wakrah vs Al Sailiya (16:45, Al Janoub Stadium) and Al Shahania vs Al Ahli (19:00, Al Sadd Stadium) on Sunday.
Al Gharafa vs Al Arabi
Al Gharafa are fourth in the QNB Stars League standings, behind Al Duhail, Al Rayyan and Al Sadd in that order, with 28 points. They are only four points adrift of reigning champions Al Sadd.
They also have four points more than closest challengers and fifth-placed side Al Arabi (24 points).
Both teams will be eager to finish among the top four and thereby play in the elite Qatar Cup and AFC Champions League. That will make the contest more interesting.
Qatar SC vs Al Rayyan
It is an encounter between a top-rung team and bottom-rung side.
Qatar SC are ninth in the standings with 17 points. A string of positive results had enabled Qatar SC to move away from the danger zone, but they are not completely safe.
Al Rayyan, on the other hand, are second in the table with 38 points, four less than leaders Al Duhail. So they are also in strong contention for the title.
Al Duhail vs Umm Salal
Al Duhail will not want any slip-up in their bid to regain the coveted league shield. They have 42 points, 10 more than holders Al Sadd and will certainly strive to maintain their lead position.
Umm Salal, meanwhile, are battling for survival as they are in 11th position with 14 points, the same as Al Khor but behind on goal difference.
Al Sadd vs Al Khor
Reigning champions Al Sadd are still in with a chance to retain the title, but they face a daunting task in that mission. They are third with 32 points, 10 adrift of table toppers Al Duhail, and six points behind Al Rayyan.
Al Khor will be targeting maximum number of points at this stage, so they can stay away from the relegation zone. They are 10th now with 14 points, the same as Umm Salal but ahead on goal difference.
Al Wakrah vs Al Sailiya
Al Wakrah, seventh in the standings with 19 points, will look to improve their position in the top flight, where they are playing after a gap of two seasons. They had bowed out of both Amir Cup and Ooredoo Cup in the quarterfinal stage, and have only league competition to focus on.
Al Sailiya, sixth with 23 points, still nurture hopes of finishing among the top four and thereby playing in the Qatar Cup and AFC Champions League, just like they did last season when they secured a third-place finish, their best-ever performance in the league.
Al Shahania vs Al Ahli
Al Shahania, the basement side with 10 points, are staring at relegation and cannot afford to drop points in the remaining five games if they are to stay in the top flight, as nearest teams in the table, Al Khor and Umm Salal both have 14 points.
Al Ahli are eighth in the QNB Stars League standings with 19 points, the same as Al Wakrah but behind on goal difference. They will be keen to bag as many points as possible and earn a better spot in the league.