Coach Rizik Eyes Top Spot As Sadd Take On Shamal

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Al Sadd's head coach Wesam Rizik described today's match against Al Shamal in the Expo Stars League as crucial and important for the team. Al Sadd are aiming to continue their winning streak at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, while Al Shamal are motivated after securing their second victory of the season against Qatar SC in the previous round.
Al Sadd currently have 19 points from six wins and a draw, and are in second position in the standings. But have played two matches less than leaders Al Gharafa.
“We have an important match against Al Shamal. Our goal is to return to the top of the table. Our focus is currently on the match against Al Shamal in the league, and I hope that the team is ready for it, with all the players in optimal condition,” said Rizik.
Under Rizik, the Wolves beat Sharjah FC in their last match of the AFC Champions League on Monday. The coach added:“The victory against Sharjah in the UAE has given us a significant morale boost to continue in the same manner. We must work as one team to secure the three points.”
Rizik noted that the players' morale is high, and said:“Everyone within the team understands the magnitude of the responsibility, especially with Al Sadd having several significant upcoming challenges both in Asia and domestically.”
Al Shamal's coach Poya Asbaghi said facing Al Sadd was difficult for his team but was hoping for a positive result.“Facing Al Sadd will certainly not be easy. We will face a great team that includes players at the highest level, coming from a victory in the AFC Champions League away from home. We look forward to providing a good performance and achieving a positive result, and continuing the results after winning the last two league matches. Our players are ready to give a good show and I have confidence in their abilities to provide what is required and always achieve the best for Al Shamal club,” said Asbaghi.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Al Duhail face Umm Salal at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium today. Al Duhail are currently fourth with 16 points, just ahead of Al Rayyan on better goal difference.
On the other hand, Umm Salal, currently in sixth place with 11 points, aim to make up for their loss in the previous round against Al Gharafa.
While Al Duhail – who have played two matches on hand – are determined to secure the maximum points and progress further, Umm Salal will not be easy opponents as they have displayed a remarkable level of performance throughout the season.
Al Duhail emerged victorious in the AFC Champions League against Tajikistan's FC Istiklol but still were knocked out of the competition. Duhail coach Christophe Galtier said:“We are playing against Umm Salal after our AFC match and our players need recovery, but we will prepare the team for this game in the required manner,” the Frenchman said.
“I watched the last match between Umm Salal and Al Gharafa to analyse it and find out their strengths. If we want to improve our ranking, we must score points in this match. I know that we will face a team that is very good and that is why we must play with all seriousness and caution, especially since they have distinguished strikers like Andy Delort whom I have trained at French club Nice and he was the team's top scorer,” Galtier said.
In the other match today, Al Markhiya face Al Arabi at the Grand Hamad Stadium. Arabi achieved an important victory in the last round over Al Wakrah, beating them 2-1, with the winning goal coming in the last minutes through defender Jassim Jaber, which allowed the team to move into seventh place on goal difference ahead of Al Shamal and Al Ahli.
As for Al Markhiya, they are in a difficult situation, being at the bottom of the table with only three points from one victory and eight defeats.


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