QNB Stars League Week 22 Preview
The battle lines have been drawn for the 2018-19 season QNB Stars League’s final round (Week 22). All six matches will be played on Saturday, 13th April, with three simultaneous kick-offs each at as many venues – Al Arabi, Al Sadd and Al Gharafa Stadiums.
The fixtures are Al Arabi vs Al Duhail (18:20) and Al Ahli vs Al Khor (20:30) at Al Arabi Stadium, Al Sadd vs Umm Salal (18:20) and Al Rayyan vs Qatar SC (20:30) at Al Sadd Stadium, Al Shahaniya vs Al Gharafa (18:20) and Al Sailiya vs Al Kharaitiyat (20:30) at Al Gharafa Stadium.
The encounters are sure to be intense and thrilling as only the champions (Al Sadd) and runners-up (Al Duhail) have been decided and all other positions will be determined after the Week 22 action.
Al Sadd were crowned for the 14th time in history following their victory over Al Ahli last week. They took an unassailable lead over closest challengers and 2017-18 champions Al Duhail.
And Al Sadd, who last won the Qatar league in the 2012-13 season, will be keen on winding up their campaign on a winning note when they face Umm Salal.
Al Sadd are on 54 points, while Umm Salal are placed ninth with 23 points.
Al Duhail, who are assured of the second place, had given Al Sadd a tough challenge all along until the last round when they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Al Kharaitiyat.
The fight to avoid relegation between Al Khor, Qatar SC and Al Kharaitiyat will be as tough as it will be between Al Sailiya, Al Rayyan and Al Ahli to finish in the top-four bracket.
Al Arabi, placed sixth with 30 points, have no chance of ending up among the top four even if they beat Al Duhail, who are on 47 points.
Al Arabi will look to build on their victory over Qatar SC in Week 21, whereas Al Duhail will also be eager to finish their campaign on a winning note.
Al Shahania’s confidence is higher than ever following their big win over Umm Salal last week. It is against this backdrop that Al Shahania, eighth with 24 points, take on Al Gharafa, positioned seventh with 26 points.
Al Khor, placed 10th with 19 points, will go all out against Al Ahli, fifth with 33 points, in their bid to ensure their stay in the First Division.
Al Rayyan, fourth with 34 points, have the third place at stake when they meet Qatar SC, 11th with 16 points and who face relegation threat.
Similarly, Al Sailiya (35 points) would like to beat Al Kharaitiyat to remain in the third position. On the other hand, The Thunders, placed at the bottom of the league with 15 points, have a berth in next season’s top flight as well, to fight for.