Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez has emphasised the difficulty of facing Saudi side Al-Nassr, in the upcoming AFC Champions League Matchday 5 game, which is set to be played on Monday at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “Al Nassr is one of the best teams in the competition. We played them in the quarterfinals last year and also in February this year. But this time, it will be different. They have strengthened the team with new players, and they have an excellent striker – Abderrazak Hamdallah.”
“Our goal is to win and to qualify for the next round. We have to give our best, and we cannot relax, especially against these kind of teams. It could be one of the best games in the competition. It will be fantastic for the fans and also for the competition and hopefully, we can get three points.”
Asked about his side’s approach for the game, the coach said: “Al-Nassr have a good defence and they have not conceded any goals here so far. But we have a good attack and our aim is to score more goals than our opponent.”
“That is our way. They are good in defence, we are good in attack. We want to dominate, create chances to score. The players are comfortable with this way.”
“The challenge for us is to score and also take care of defence. This is what happened in the second game against Al-Ain. The problem is not with the defence, the responsibility of not conceding lies with the entire team.”
Xavi further said: “We made changes in the last two games, rotating players. We have 4 or 5 players who have played 90 minutes in both games. We can manage things with the substitutions. The players are in a good moment, physically and mentally. We are in our best conditions and we must use this opportunity.”
Finally, with regards to changes in Al-Nassr’s gameplay compared to the previous year, Xavi said: “Al-Nassr’s style has not changed from last year. They are a good team and score a lot of goals. We are speaking of a strong team that is capable of reaching the semifinal, and so we must be well prepared.”