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Posted On: 22 December 2015 09:19 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:55 pm

Tough challenge awaits Al Gharafa against in-form Lekhwiya

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Former champions Al Gharafa players will have to dig deep when they take on Lekhwiya in Match of the Week on Tuesday. Al Gharafa were touted to be the title contenders when they started the season, having brought in a new coach and key players.

However, their season has imploded quite dramatically with them currently in eighth position with just 15 points from their 13 games so far. They have allowed more goals than they have scored (10 vs 15) and have suffered three losses in their previous four games.

Their latest loss was a 0-2 loss to Al Khor. AL Gharafa dominated that match but couldn’t capitalize on that and ended up giving Al Khor their third win of the season. They have conceded six goals in their three recent losses and haven’t been able to score in four games so far. Their main striker Alain Dioko is a pale shadow of himself compared to his performances of last year.

In contrast, defending champions Lekhiwya who suffered a dramatic loss of form in the middle of the first half, are now on a five-match winning streak.

Adding to their confidence will be the fact that they have scored 19 goals in those five matches. Striker Youssef Msakni has scored in three consecutive matches and has taken his tally to 11 goals this season. The Tunisian is just two goals behind Rayyan’s Rodrigo Tabata, who is leading the goal scoring charts. Coach Djamel Belmadi will hope that Msakni can continue finding the back of the net.

Lekhwiya are currently in third place, one point behind Al Sadd in second and 11 points behind Al Rayyan at the top. They would be keento continue raking in the points in the hope that Al Rayyan will slip up and they will be able to take advantage.

Belmadi’s boys are the clear favourites going into this Round 14 match and will look to wrap up the three points but if Dioko can find his goal-scoring form then this will shape up to be an exciting clash. Al Gharafa players will feel motivated because they are playing a big team like Lekhiwya and that a win in this match will go a long way in turning around their season.