Ooredoo Cup: Al Sadd eye better show

Doha:  Qatari football giants Al Saad 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 is 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 has 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 Saturday, Al Shahania will face Al Wakrah at the Al Wakrah Stadium while Umm Salal takes on high-flying Al Rayyan at Al Khor Stadium.

Al Shahania is 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 has 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 occupies 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 has 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 is 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).

Credit to The Peninsula

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