Xavi: It will be a tough game against Al-Arabi, but we are ready to compete

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez addressed the media ahead of the QNB Stars League Round 6 game against Al-Arabi, stressing on the importance of the game and the readiness of his side.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “The next game against Al-Arabi is very important for us, because it is a derby. Our rival is very strong; they have already qualified for the Amir Cup final and we also beat them in the Ooredoo Cup final.”

“They’re doing well. I think they are in a good moment, they have a good team and a good coach. So it will be really difficult. Derbies always have a lot of tension.”

He added, “But as always, we are ready to compete, and we need the three points, of course. Let’s see how the (international) players come back from the national teams, but we are training well and we are positive that we can get a good result.”

Asked about the condition of the international players after their return, the coach said: “It is very important that they recover well, eat well and be in a good condition. We have many games to play, and they have traveled for many hours from here and to their countries to play so it’s very important that they recover well.”

He continued: We do not have many injuries; just Bahaa (Al-Laithi) and Saad Al-Dosari are absent. The rest are okay so now we have a bigger squad to choose the lineup and we have many options, and we are happy.”

Xavi indicated that things will be different in the derby and that both teams are under pressure, and added: I think that Al-Sadd is the favourite to win the three points but we have to show our real level on the pitch.”

“It will be difficult. For sure, they will defend well and they will be aggressive. We have experience playing against these kinds of clubs and in these kinds of games, in which we cannot commit any mistakes.”

“We are the top of the table and we must keep first place until the end of the competition.”