Doha: The battle in midfield would be the key as Al Rayyan take on Al Duhail SC in the first high-voltage clash of the 2017-18 QNB Stars League on Friday.
Both teams have won their opening two matches, Rayyan scoring seven goals in the process, but their coach Michael Laudrup knows well that it doesn’t count for much.
“They are a very good side, they know each other well, they have players like Nam Tae-Hee, Ismael Mohammed and Yusef Msakni who have been together for a long time, and that is a big advantage for Duhail heading into this match,” said Laudrup, at the pre-match press conference.
“Duhail are a very good attacking team, and I think they will have Ismael and Afif (who both are wingers) in defence (as fullbacks ) for this match. They have a good balance in midfield in Nam, Karim Boudiaf and Luis Martin and this will be important in breaking down,” he said.
Belmadi also said the outcome of the match would be decided in midfield.
“Our midfield is one of our strengths and I believe that the battle will be in midfield. If we win this battle we can control the game. Al Rayyan have a strong attack also so we need to strong defensively. In fact, we need to be strong in all areas of the pitch. It will be an interesting game, with two teams with a strong attacking philosophy and I hope it’s a good game to watch.”