QNB Stars League Week 19 Preview
The QNB Stars League is back after a fortnight-long break during which Qatari teams Al Duhail, Al Sadd and Al Rayyan played in the 2019 AFC Champions League. The competition is sure to get hotter when the Week 19 matches are played on Thursday, 14th March, Friday, 15th March, and Saturday, 16th March.
The fixtures are Al Ahli vs Al Shahania (18:05) at Al Ahli Stadium, Al Kharaitiyat vs Qatar SC (20:15) at Al Khor Stadium on Thursday, Al Rayyan vs Al Khor (17:00) at Al Sadd Stadium, Al Arabi vs Al Gharafa (19:25) at Al Arabi Stadium on Friday, Al Sailiya vs Al Sadd (17:00) at Al Ahli Stadium and Umm Salal vs Al Duhail (19:25) at Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday.
Al Ahli and Al Shahania will open the week’s action by playing against each other.
Both teams go into the match in contrasting fashion. Al Ahli suffered a 0-6 defeat at the hands of reigning champions Al Duhail, while Al Shahania upset Al Rayyan 3-0 in the last round.
Al Ahli are fifth in the QNB Stars League with 29 points, just one adrift of fourth-placed Al Rayyan, so they will look for three points that can help them storm into the top four.
On the other hand, Al Shahania are eighth in the table with 20 points and they would like to build on their achievements and improve their position.
Bottom-placed Al Kharaitiyat will target a hat-trick of victories when they take on Qatar SC, 10th with 16 points. The Thunders, still facing relegation with nine points, defeated Umm Salal and Al Gharafa in the previous rounds.
Qatar SC, meanwhile, will look to be back on winning path following back-to-back defeats. The Kings, who crashed to Al Khor in Week 17, lost big-time to leaders Al Sadd in the last round (1-8), so they will also seek compensation for it.
Al Rayyan (fourth with 30 points) and Al Khor (11th with 15 points) will also go into their game with mixed feelings.
Al Rayyan will be desperate following their back-to-back defeats, 0-4 against Al Sadd in the Qatar Clasico before the shocker at the hands of Al Shahania.
Al Khor are also on a hat-trick of wins, having beaten Qatar SC in Week 17 and Umm Salal (1-0) in Week 18.
Then comes the encounter between Al Arabi and Al Gharafa, which will have more fans’ attention as well.
Al Arabi too are coming off two victories in a row, having defeated Al Shahania in Week 17 and high-flying Al Sailiya (3-2) in Week 18. They are sixth with 27 points, while Al Gharafa are going through a lean patch (ninth with 19 points).
Big guns Al Sadd and Al Duhail are in action on Friday, the former playing Al Sailiya and the latter facing Umm Salal.
Al Sadd (47 points) have a four-point lead over second-placed Al Duhail.
Al Sailiya are third in the table with 31 points and Umm Salal seventh with 20 points.