Al Duhail eye win over Al Sailiya to maintain lead

Al Duhail eye win over Al Sailiya to maintain lead

The Peninsula

Al Duhail coach Hernan Crespo (pictured) said his players should be ready for a 'risky encounter' against Al Sailiya when the two sides on opposite sides of in the table face off in the 18th week of the QNB Stars League, today.

The newly crowned Ooredoo Cup champions, Al Duhail are currently at the top of the standings, but Crespo said it is vital to focus on the league matches and maintain the lead.

Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the match against he bottom-placed side, Crespo said, “a tricky match comes after we won the first championship in the season (Ooredoo Cup) and we must now focus on the league matches and maintaining the lead."

Crespo also noted that all of their opponents are motivated to do well against his side.

“All clubs facing us are motivated to come out with a good result against us and statistics indicate that the Al Sailiya match will be difficult despite the clear advantage for the players of our team."

The Argentinian also said that he is happy to have won the Ooredoo Cup - their first title of the season – having beaten Umm Salal in the final 1-0 on Tuesday despite missing out on a number of international players in the initial stages of the tournament.

“I am happy to have won the Ooredoo Cup because the tournament began in the absence of our international players and we relied on young players to whom we gave the opportunity. And they succeeded in appearing well and contributed clearly to this coronation,” said Crespo, who took charge of the team last year.

However, Crespo indicated that Al Sailiya's tactics, under their new coach Mirghani Al Zain, will be difficult to predict.

"We are aware that Al Sailiya have changed the technical staff which will give their player spiritual push beside the fact that we are not aware of the new coach’s strategy," Crespo said.

Al Zain, meanwhile, said Al Sailiya will try a different aproach against Al Duhail today.

"Facing Al Duhail, the league leaders, are tough and we will try to appear well and perform differently. We will focus on injecting new blood into the team," Zain, a former Qatar international, said.

Al Sailiya have been able to win only two matches in the league so far and as such the new coach will have a challenging role with the side taking on Al Duhail.

“The current situation of the team is difficult, but we will try with all our efforts to change the image of the team and bring out the best in the players on the field. We will be hopeful until the last moment as long as we are mathematically still on the field and have the opportunity to move away from the last of league standings.

“We feel the enthusiasm in the faces of the players after changing the technical staff and the desire and determination they have to help the team in order to get out of this difficult situation.

“I thank the management of Al Sailiya club for the great confidence in me that I could take over the task of training the team at this important time and I hope that I will live up to everyone’s expectations and achieve positive results,” said Al Zain who replaced veteran Tunisian Sami Trabelsi.

In the other matches today, defending champions Al Sadd face Al Wakrah at the Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Stadium (21:45).



Al Sadd vs Al Wakrah

At Saoud Bin Abdulrahman

Stadium (21:45)

Al Sailiya vs Al Duhail

At Hamad Bin Khalifa Stadium (21:45)


Al Markhiya vs Al Gharafa

At Thani Bin Jassim Stadium (21:45)

Al Ahli vs Al Shamal

At Hamad Bin Khalifa Stadium (21:45)

April 03

Al Arabi vs Umm Salal

At Grand Hamad Stadium (21:45)

April 23

Al Rayyan vs Qatar SC

At Thani Bin Jassim (21:45)