Ooredoo Cup: Al Sadd eye better show

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Al Sadd’s players take part in a training session yesterday.

Doha:  Qatari football giants Al Sadd will be looking to avoid spoils following a wobbly start in the Ooredoo Cup when they take on Al Ahli in their third round match on Saturday.

At the Al Ahli Stadium, Al Sadd, who are currently placed fourth in Group A, will be looking to secure their second win in the tournament.

Al Sadd got off to a shocking start in the tournament, having lost 1-5 to Al Wakrah in the opening round before scoring a 3-1 win against Al Shahania last week.

Coach Xavi Hernandez was overseeing training at the Al Sadd Stadium yesterday ahead of the clash which is regarded as the match of the day.

Al Ahli are third in the group with three points. They have collected the same number of points as Al Sadd, but are placed higher on better goal difference.

Al Ahli have scored three goals while conceding four so far, whereas Al Sadd scored four goals and conceded six.

Al Ahli, who replaced Spanish coach Ruben de la Barrera with Carlos Hernandez last week, defeated Umm Salal 2-0 in Round 1, but suffered a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Group A leaders Al Rayyan.

Al Sadd will miss the services of a number of players who are away on national duties. However, it will give Xavi the opportunity to test the skills of his backup players during the tournament which is mainly aimed at providing younger players with more playing time and exposure.

In other Group A matches on Saturdyay, Al Shahania will face Al Wakrah at the Al Wakrah Stadium while Umm Salal take on high-flying Al Rayyan at Al Khor Stadium.

Al Shahania are at the bottom of Group A table without any point, having lost both their matches (0-3 against Al Rayyan and 1-3 against Al Sadd).

Al Shahania have a goal difference of -5 (one goal for and six against). They need to regroup sooner rather than later to keep any hopes of making it to the quarter-finals alive.

Al Wakrah occupy the second position in the group with four points. Following their win over Al Sadd in the first round, they were held goalless by Umm Salal.

Al Wakrah have a goal difference of +4 (five goals for and one against).

Al Rayyan, meanwhile, will be looking to consolidate on their position with a third win in Group A when they take on Umm Salal.

Al Rayyan are in fine form, topping the group with six points. They beat Al Shahania 3-0 and defeated Al Ahli 4-1. The Lions have a goal difference of +6 (seven goals for and one against).

Umm Salal are placed fifth in the group with one point they earned from their goalless draw against Al Wakrah last week.

The Orange Fortress have a goal difference of -2 (no goal for and two against).

Umm Salal are going through a lean patch as they are precariously placed 11th in the 2019-20 QNB Stars League with only five points after 10 rounds of action. The series of negative results had resulted in the dismissal of Spanish coach Raul Caneda.

In Saturday’s match, Al Rayyan will be without defender Mohammed Alaaeldin, who is recovering from a surgery for cruciate ligament knee injury.

The Ooredoo Cup, formerly known as QSL Cup, has a group-cum-knockout format, offers new opportunities for sponsors, partners and supporters to highlight their brands.

The top four sides from each group will progress to the knockout quarter-finals.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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