QNB Stars League Week 19 — Umm Salal vs Al Duhail
Umm Salal have their task cut out when they host reigning champions Al Duhail in Week 19 of the QNB Stars League on Saturday, 16th March. The kick-off is at 19:25 at the Al Gharafa Stadium.
Al Duhail are keeping pace with Al Sadd in second spot on 43 points, four adrift of the leaders. The Red Knights are well aware that each point at this stage counts in their bid to retain the coveted league shield.
On the other hand, Umm Salal too badly need points to improve their position in the table. The Orange Fortress’ performance have been on the decline of late. They are coming off back-to-back defeats against Al Kharaitiyat and Al Khor, both by a 0-1 margin.
All that hots up the contest, which will round up the week’s action.
Al Duhail, coached by Portuguese Rui Faria, have 13 wins to their credit. They drew four matches and lost one. Their goal difference is +31 (44 goals for and 13 against).
Al Duhail, who beat Al Ahli 6-0 in Week 18, hold the distinction of conceding the least number of goals among all 12 teams. That will make the job of Umm Salal attack, led by Yannick Sagbo and Mahmoud Al Mawas, tougher.
Umm Salal, under the tutelage of Spaniard Raul Caneda, are placed seventh with 20 points (five wins, as many draws and eight defeats). Their goal difference is -11 (19 goals for and 30 against).
The Umm Salal defence is sure to have a tough time, with the likes of Yousef El Arabi, Paolo Edmilson and Shoya Nakajima leading the Al Duhail charge.
Al Duhail had beaten Umm Salal 2-0 in the first leg of this season’s QNB Stars League.
Meanwhile, Al Duhail lost to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 1-3 in their 2019 AFC Champions League Group C second-round fixture in Riyadh on 12th March.
Al Duhail had started their continental campaign on a strong note, beating Iran’s Esteghlal 3-0.