Al Gharafa face Al Shamal in Week 1 of the 2021-2022 season QNB Stars League.
The kick-off is at 18:05 at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Saturday, 11th September 2021.
Al Gharafa had finished a creditable fourth in the 2020-2022 season, behind champions Al Sadd, Al Duhail and Al Rayyan in that order. The Cheetahs, then under Serb Slavisa Jokanovic, thus ensured a berth in the Qatar Cup and a possible place in AFC Champions League.
Al Gharafa, a traditional powerhouse in Qatar football with many titles and honours to their credit, will embark on the new season on a confident note and under new coach, Italian Andrea Stramaccioni, who was appointed recently.
On the other hand, Al Shamal is back in the First Division after a gap of six seasons. They won the Second Division League last season (2020-2021) to qualify for the top flight.
Al Shamal, who retained Moroccan coach Hisham Jadrane, will be facing a new challenge this time and there will be no option for them, but to work hard and diligently in order to compete strongly against teams that have much experience in the competition.
Al Gharafa have an upper hand, but Al Shamal had made a strong start to the season by holding Al Ahli to a 2-2 draw in Round 1 of the Ooredoo Cup last weekend.
Al Gharafa boasts of players like Sofiane Hanni, Jonathan Kodjia, Mehdi Tahrat, Homam Al Ameen and goalkeeper Yousef Hassan, while Al Shamal has the likes of Jeison Medina, Baha Faisal, Ali Awad, Mohammed El Sayed (Jeddo) and goalkeeper Hassan Idriss.
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