Al Gharafa, Umm Salal, Al Sailiya or Al Ahli?
Al Duhail, Al Sadd and Al Rayyan have been confirmed as the top three teams in the 2017-18 season’s QNB Stars League. They are almost sure to finish in that order as they stand now. The most relevant matter that is being discussed among the football fraternity at the moment is which team will end up fourth?
Well, there are four teams vying for the coveted fourth spot and thereby qualify for the prestigious Qatar Cup. They are Al Gharafa, Umm Salal, Al Sailiya and Al Ahli in that order.
Al Gharafa have 29 points, Umm Salal 28, Al Sailiya 25 and Al Ahli 22.
Al Gharafa have just stormed into the top four for the first time this season after the Qatar Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee overturned their 2-3 defeat to Al Markhiya in Week 18 of the QNB Stars League and instead handed them a 3-0 win.
The decision was made after Al Markhiya were found to have breached the rule regarding fielding resident players in the QNB Stars League matches. Al Gharafa had lodged a complaint, claiming that the rivals fielded six resident players. The number of resident players to be included in the team list in the QNB Stars League fixtures should not exceed five.
The Cheetahs cemented the fourth spot in style with a 6-1 win over Al Rayyan last week. Al Gharafa are also playing in the AFC Champions League alongside Al Duhail, Al Sadd and Al Rayyan, and have four points in Group A with one victory, draw and defeat each after the completion of three rounds.
Interestingly, they are up against Al Sailiya in Week 20 on Friday, 9th March. The Peregrines are keen to get back into the top four, where they stayed for long before being displaced by Umm Salal with a 1-0 victory in Week 18.
Al Gharafa have eight wins, five draws and six defeats, while Al Sailiya have won seven games, drawn four and lost eight.
Umm Salal, who have seven wins to their credit, host Al Sadd at the Al Gharafa Stadium with much hope as they are just one point behind Al Gharafa.
Al Ahli, with six victories under their belt, face the problem of inconsistency when they face Al Markhiya challenge.