Al Sadd target another win as Al Arabi look to bounce back
17 Oct 2017 - 2:05
By Fawad Hussain / The Peninsula
Seasoned Khalfan Ibrahim will be in the spotlight when old rivals Al Sadd and Al Arabi clash in Round 5 of the QNB Stars League (QSL) on Friday.
The battle at Al Arabi Stadium is the first-ever derby in Al Arabi colours for Khalfan, who had represented Al Sadd for long before his homecoming at the beginning of this season.
Xavi Hernandez’s Al Sadd are enjoying an almost perfect season - notching up four victories from as many games.
They are second in the points standings behind Al Duhail, who are on top on the basis of better goal difference. Al Arabi are reeling at ninth position with only three points but the results and standings notwithstanding, the derby clash.
Although, Al Sadd appear a far better side owing to their recent form, Al Arabi have the tendency to stun their old rivals at their own backyard.
The very thought of it would inspire players on both sides to throw up their best. The huge fan base of both clubs adds to the excitement.
The players are all the more ready to soak up the pressure and bask in the glory.
Apart from Xavi, Jugurtha Hamroun, Hassan Al Haidous, Baghdad Bounedjah and Morteza Mohammed will be eyeing to put their opponents under pressure.
On the other hand, seasoned Khalfan, Mardik Mardikian, Saad Nateq, Ammar Al Jamal and Diego Jardel posing a huge challenge for Al Sadd. It may be recalled that Khalfan came up as a player through Al Arabi’s youth ranks.
Then, there is Boualem Khoukhi, who moved to Al Sadd from Al Arabi.
Those who joined Al Arabi from Al Sadd include Muhannad Naim, Hussam Kamal and Yasser Yahya. The competition between the two coaches is sure to be as thrilling as it is on the field.
Al Arabi’s Tunisian coach Qais Yaakoubi will be up against Al Sadd’s Portuguese master Jesualdo Ferreira. The match will kick off at 7:35pm.