Doha, February 03 (QNA) – A strong match will be played on Saturday when Al Rayyan face Al Arabi in a crucial clash in Week 13 of the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars League at the Al Sadd Stadium.

Strong battles are on cards in Week 13 as matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday, with four games on the first day and two on the second day.

The much-anticipated match between Al Rayyan, placed 10th with eight points, and Al Arabi, second with 22 points, is expected to produce excitement despite their positions in the league rankings.

Both teams will fight hard for the three points as Al Arabi aim to regain positive results having lost two consecutive games, against Al Sadd and Qatar SC, which has made them slip to second place in the standings, after being at the top.

Al Arabi, who were in the lead position for long, are having a lean patch of late as they lost to reigning champions Al Sadd and Qatar SC, and will look to be back on the winning path.

Al Rayyan, who beat Al Shamal 2-1 in Week 12, will be keen to extend their winning streak and thus move away from the danger zone.

Al Arabi coach Younes Ali will try to compensate for the recent losses suffered by his team so that they do not move away from the position of strength. He would also be wary of the chase being made by Qatar SC and Al Gharafa besides the rise of Al Ahli and the surge of Al Sadd.

Al Arabi enter the match with 22 points from seven wins, one draw and three losses.

Al Arabi rely on the capabilities of their stars, both foreign and local professionals, most notably Yousef Msakni, Omar Al Somah, Rafinha, Abdullah Marafi and Ahmed Fathi.

Al Rayyan, who advanced to the 10th place with eight points having achieved their second victory this season overcoming Al Shamal 2-1 in the last round, will look to revive their position in the standings table.

Their coach Nicholas Cordova knows that their rivals Al Arabi are smarting from defeats and will ensure that mistakes are not repeated making the task difficult for Al Rayyan.

Cordova will rely more on two stars who have joined the team just recently, namely Moroccan Sofiane Boufal and Chilean Jason Vargas. They will add to the presence of prominent players in the Al Rayyan team, namely: Yohan Boli, Naif Al Hadhrami, Osama Al Tairi, Khalid Ali and Abdulaziz Hatem.

Meanwhile, Al Duhail face Al Ahli in a challenging Week 13 match at the Al Duhail Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams will enter the game with high spirits and great enthusiasm, pushing hard to collect the valuable three points. The clash is expected to be full of excitement and rivalry.

Leaders Al Duhail aim to keep up their charge having risen to the top two rounds ago after Al Arabi lost to Al Sadd in the Qatar Derby.

The Red Knights have shown super form since the league returned to action following the World Cup break.

Al Duhail scored a 1-0 win over Al Wakrah in an exciting match in the last round which saw them open up a four-point lead over previous table toppers Al Arabi, who are now second having suffered two consecutive defeats.

Al Duhail have a tally of 26 points coming from eight wins, two draws and one loss.

Al Ahli are ranked fifth with 17 points, one point behind Al Wakrah who are placed fourth.

Al Ahli registered a 3-1 win over Umm Salal in the last round having to rally after being a goal down for their fourth victory of the season. Al Ahli are eager to stay in the top four.

But the task of their Montenegrin coach Nebojsa Jovovic will not be easy. Al Duhail are known for their attacking play led by Kenyan striker Michael Olunga, who is having a wonderful season and is competing strongly for the title of top scorer in the league for a second successive season. With him is Almoez Ali. Both of them will pose a strong threat to Al Ahli goalkeeper Yazan Naim.

Al Duhail’s Argentinian coach Hernan Crespo will inspire his team to continue their strong run and achieve another win, but at the same time will be cautious given the strength and capabilities of Al Ahli team.

Both teams have capabilities to intensify attacks having the depth to penetrate rival defence. The players would therefore be aggressive and cautious at the same time adding to the pulsating tie. 

Al Sadd, placed sixth with 16 points, face Umm Salal, 11th with seven points, and Al Wakrah, fourth with 18 points, face Al Gharafa, seventh with 16 points, in simultaneous kick-off on Saturday.
Al Sadd aspire to continue their winning run, which started after the break that saw them win three matches in a row.
On the other hand, Umm Salal suffered three consecutive defeats that saw them slip to the penultimate place and they badly need some positive results sooner.
Umm Salal have announced that they parted ways with coach Wesam Rizik by mutual consent and they will take the field under his replacement.
Al Wakrah and Al Gharafa will take field the great ambitions. Al Wakrah are coming from a 0-1 loss at home against Al Duhail, which made them drop to fourth place, while Al Gharafa beat Al Sailiya 2-1 to revive their hopes of making it to the top four.
On Sunday, Al Markhiya, placed ninth with nine points, face Qatar SC, third with 19 points.
Qatar SC are coming off four consecutive victories and question remains whether Al Markhiya, who did not taste victory in their last three matches, can stop The Kings’ juggernaut.
In Sunday’s second and the round’s last match, Al Shamal, eighth with 10 points, face Al Sailiya, last with four points.
Both teams are sure to fight it out to improve their positions. The onus is more on Al Sailiya to pull up their socks if they are to avoid relegation.
The match is of particular importance to both teams who seek full points, especially Al Sailiya who are rooted to the bottom of standings with only four points (one win, a draw and nine defeats) following a series of setbacks. Their last reversal was against Al Gharafa (1-2) in Week 12.
On the other hand, Al Shamal, placed eighth with 10 points (three wins, a draw and five defeats), will try to improve their position and compensate for their 1-2 loss to Al Rayyan in the last round.
Al Sailiya had beaten Al Shamal by a 2-1 margin in the first leg and that incidentally is The Peregrines’ only victory in this season’s league championship. (QNA)


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