Doha: Just six weeks into the new Qatar Stars League (QSL) season and the most unlikely title challenge is emerging.
Last season Al Wakra struggled to find any consistent form. Al Sailiya faltered even more, finishing the season bottom of the table and avoiding relegation simply because of league reconstruction.
And yet, these two teams sit proudly at the top of the league on 11 points.
But today Al Sadd will try and throw a spanner in the works for Al Wakra at Wakra Stadium.
Adnan Derjal has shaped his side into a fine unit this season, still to taste defeat. Many are waiting for them to falter but the passionate Iraqi coach will do everything possible to ensure his side enjoy their run as long as possible.
In the opposite dug-out will be Hussein Amotta, the Al Sadd coach who is slowly but surely getting the current QSL champions firing on all cylinders.
Al Wakra-Al Sadd promises to be a fascinating contest.
As always, Spanish superstar Raul is pulling the strings for Sadd.
Just this week, team-mate Khalfan Ibrahim admitted having the former Real Madrid on the pitch was like having a coach in the thick of the action. Al Wakra should be wary that promise doesn’t ring true. Even if it does, Wakra have their own Brazilian who is currently helping himself to goals.
Michel Souza is QSL’s top scorer so far this season with five goals to his name. It’s a rich vein of form – yet his goals account for just half of Wakrah’s total number of strikes to date.
If Wakra wish to keep the same pace, that form must continue. One thing is for sure, this is a game not to miss.
Victory for Al Wakra underlines their credibility as challengers for, at the very least, a top four spot.
Three points for Al Sadd could put them top of the table in their own right – should Al Sailiya fail to win.
In the other matches today all of which kick off at 6.15pm, Al Sailiya take on Al Khor at home, while Qatar Sports Club clash with Al Arabi at Qatar SC Stadium, all Sebastiao Lazaroni side will looking forward to quickly forget the 4-0 mauling they suffered in the last round match when they take on Al Arabi today.
The Brazilian coach said his side is determined they won’t make the same mistake in this weekend’s match. “We didn’t concentrate in the last game because we didn’t play the way we know we’re capable of.
“Hopefully in this game we can get back on track. We’ll look at our system and see if we can do any different to achieve a good result.
“It was a tough week trying to understand the defeat but this is usual in football.”
In the last match of the day, two bottom placed teams Umm Salal and Al Rayyan will seek a trun around at Qatar SC Stadium at 8.30pm.