Preview: Al Ahly vs Al Duhail | FIFA Club World Cup

Preview: Al Ahly vs Al Duhail | FIFA Club World Cup

On February 4th, 2021 African champions, Al-Ahly of Egypt take on the Qatari side Al Duhail.

The tournament’s draw was staged a few days ago to set up the Egyptian-Qatari encounter with the winner clashing with UEFA champions league winners Bayern Munich in the semi-final.

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Al Ahly SC

The African champions are making their sixth appearance in the competition and prepared to better their result in 2006 where they finished in third place.

Their South African coach Pitso Mosimane can rely on his new player Moroccan international Badr Banoun (semi-finalist of the African Champions League last autumn). The club lost some key players such as captain Ahmed Fathi (Pyramids FC) or Senegalese Aliou Badji (Ankaragucu in Turkey).

Al Ahly captain – an imposing presence between the posts at 6’3 (1.91m) tall – also boasts a lot of major tournament experience. He even made two appearances for the Pharaohs at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™: against the host nation and Uruguay.

El Shenawy sees his presence at the Club World Cup as something of a personal milestone: “Playing for my country at the World Cup and then taking part at the Club World Cup is a major achievement for me.

“They’re two competitions that every player dreams of taking part in. It’s an added responsibility for me. Playing at an international tournament like the Club World Cup takes a lot of determination and hard work. Al Ahly, the players, and the coaching staff have all made a huge effort to be at this competition.”

“We’ve got Al Duhail first up, which will be a special game because they’re an Arab team playing at home and in front of their own fans,” he said. “We’re expecting a tough match.

“Al Duhail are a strong side with some quality players. They’ve made some big signings, bringing in a forward and a defender. We’ve watched their last few games in the Qatari league and we know it’s going to be a big battle. We need to prepare the best we can so we can put in a good performance.”

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Al Duhail SC

As reigning Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions, Al Duhail SC will be flying the flag of the host nation at this year’s FIFA Club World Cup.

The Red Knights will also be making their debut in the competition after edging Al Rayyan to last season’s league title by a single point – they face Al Ahly on Thursday night.

Founded in 2009 as Lekhwiya SC, the club re-branded under the name Al Duhail when it merged with El Jaish SC in 2017.

Since coming into existence, Al Duhail’s impact on Qatari club football has been impressive, as last season’s league triumph was their seventh QSL title – the club’s honor roll also includes three Amir Cup titles, three Qatar Cup crowns and two Sheikh Jassim Cup successes.

Al Duhail’s domestic success over the past decade has also earned the club nine consecutive appearances in the AFC Champions League since 2012, with the Doha outfit set to take part again in 2021. They are led by head coach Sabri Lamouchi, who is a familiar face to followers of the QSL.

The eyes of the football world will be fixated on Qatar for the first major tournament of the year. The FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 will be held from February 4 to 11 after the annual competition was delayed by two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament will also showcase two FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums.

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