QSL title, relegation and the race for the Mansor Muftah award set to be decided in frantic finish to the 2016/2017 QSL season.
After a three week hiatus due to international football, the QSL returns on Saturday evening with a host of major talking points yet to be decided, here we look over five key moments that will shape the QSL season in round 24.
Relegation trouble for Wakrah
Bottom of the table Al Wakrah could be formally relegated to the Qatar Gas League if they are unable to get a positive result from their titanic relegation battle against Al Khor on Saturday evening. The Blue Waves have been rooted to the bottom of the standings for a few weeks now, and baring three victories and other results going their way they look unlikely to beat the drop.
Wakrah boss Kais Yâakoubi will have a fully fit squad to choose from for the game and will be hoping to get an unlikely result against a Khor side who has also struggled this season. Influential Moroccan attackers Mouhcine Moutouali will have to be at his very best if the Blue Wave are to complete the great escape.
Al Sadd Vs Al Rayyan
At the top of the QSL standings and title chasing Al Sadd have a crunch match against rivals Al Rayyan that could shape the destiny of who picks up the QSL falcon shield. Jesaldo Ferriera’s side is two points from the top and can’t afford to lose ground on league leaders Lekhwiya. Al Sadd will be buoyed that they soundly defeated Rayan 5-0 last time in the league. Former champions Al Rayyan have a slim chance of picking up the QSL falcon shield, and head coach Michael Laudup will be well aware that a win for his side will seriously dent Sadd’s title aspirations.
El Jaish Vs Lekhwiya
As for league leaders Lekhwiya they have a tough away fixture against local rivals El Jaish. The Red Knights also need maximum points with Al Sadd on their tails. One major blow for Lekhwiya will be the absence of top goal scorer Yusef El Arabi, who has been ruled out for the season due to a shoulder injury. Djamel Belmadi will be hoping his side can step up, especially with their fifth QSL falcon shield within their sights.
Race for the Mansor Muftah award
With the current lead scorer Yusef El Arabi now sidelined for the remainder of the season. The opportunity has arisen for second placed Bagdad Bounjah to overtake his rival to lift the Mansor Muftah award at the end of season QFA awards. Bounjah is currently on 21 goals for this season, and needs to score five from the final three games of the season to overtake the Lekhwiya striker who has scored 24 times this campaign.
New coach at Al Gharafa
It’s all change on the managerial front for Al Gharafa heading into the final three games of the domestic season. With Portugeese head coach Pedro Caixina leaving the club to take the reins of Glasgow Rangers, Gharafa have elected to turn to a familiar face in caretaker boss Al Habib Sadeq. The Tunisian coach is no stranger to the Cheetahs having taken over as a caretaker on a number of occasions. Sadeq will be now charged with guiding the Cheetahs to their highest possible finish in the league.