Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez has stressed on the difficulty of his side’s upcoming game against Al-Duhail in Round 14 of the QNB Stars League.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “Our next game is against Al Duhail, and in my opinion they are one of the best teams in Asia, not only in Qatar. Right now, they are in the best form in this season and so it means that it will be a very difficult game as always, especially because we are eight points above Al Duhail. In my opinion, it’s the last opportunity for them to keep their hopes (alive) in this competition.”
“So, we have the opportunity to increase the difference. If we get the three points, the possibility of winning this competition is really high. For us it’s a final. We are playing at home and we are in a very good moment.”
He added: “Also, Al Duhail are in a good moment, so everybody can expect a really good game and a great performance from both teams.”
“We are in the best position in the last few years, eight points ahead of Al Duhail and so it means a lot for us and we need to get three points.”
As for the recent changes in Duhail’s squad, Xavi said: “I don’t care about the players, this is Al Duhail – it is a winning team. They are organised to win all competitions, like Al-Sadd. So it means that the match will be really tough, like in the last games we played against them. It was really difficult but Al Sadd was better.”
“We did really well and we have to continue like that and keep going. Mentally, we are ready to compete as always.”
The Al-Sadd squad has welcomed back many players who missed the last few games but Xavi did not give an exact date for their return to action. “We don’t know exactly. Today they start training – Akram, Khoukhi, Hussam, and also Sayyar. Let’s see these two days of training,” he said.
“Until now, we don’t have any information. Of course, they (COVID-19 patients) were isolated for almost two weeks and I don’t know if they will be ready or not. Let’s see in the training today and tomorrow and hopefully they can be in the (squad) list.”
Xavi also spoke of the club’s fans, emphasising on the team’s continued need for support. “We need the supporters, they are doing really well and have been supporting us a lot in the last few games of our team.”
“We are playing at home and we are in a really good moment, and I think they are enjoying a lot. So we need them to face Al Duhail because it’s a really tough game for us and it’s a final.”