DOHA: Al Rayyan are hoping to continue their winning form as they take on Umm Salal in their second match of the QNB Stars League (QSL) at Al Sadd Stadium.
A victory against Umm Salal today will complete a hat-trick of wins for The Lions in the new season. They defeated giants Al Duhail in the Sheikh Jassim Cup before overcoming Al Ahli in their first QSL game last week.
Al Rayyan coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena urged his players to bring improvement in every game and termed Umm Salal, who lost their opening match against Al Sailiyah, as ‘tough opponents’.
“They (Umm Salal) have what it takes to win and they know how to go about it. They will come hard at us especially since they lost the opening match to Al Sailiyah,” the Argentinean said on the eve of the match.
“From our side, we will do everything to win this game. One match is not enough to assess any team’s performance. However, from what we have seen, the overall level is good. Most teams are almost at the same level.
“Some teams took advantage of their rivals’ mistakes towards the end of their matches. We see that we are improving as a side. We have no injury worries, except that of key striker Abderrazaq Hamdalah, but then he was missing in action since the end of last season,” he added.
On the new signing of Argentinian striker Jonathan Menendez, Al Rayyan coach said: “We are still waiting for his papers so he can’t play this match.”
Meanwhile, Umm Salal coach Laurent Banide hoped his team will overcome injury woes to get good result against Al Rayyan.
“Each game is difficult and that is football. We know the potential of Al Rayyan, so we have to do more for this game. They have depth in their squad, but we can win if we play well as a team.
“We have some problems within our team, mainly injuries to key players, and we need time to find solutions for them. But then, all players in our squad wants to win and that is a good sign,” Banide said before adding the team was aiming for improvement after loss against Al Sailiyah.
“We are analysing our problems. The players lost focus at times in the last match against Al Sailiyah which we lost narrowly through a late goal. Past is past. We are learning from our mistakes.. We can improve day by day.
“We have many injury worries, the main being striker Christian Osaguona and experienced defender Bilal Mohammed. However, we also have depth in our squad. We do not play in all tournaments with just 11 players.
“It is only the beginning and we have to seek solutions to these problems soon,” added Banide.