Defending champions Qatar will leave for Kuwait today to take part in the 23rd Gulf Cup football tournament beginning tomorrow.
Qatar, who have won the event three times since it began in 1970, will open their campaign with a match against Yemen on Saturday before meeting Iraq on December 26.
They play their last Group B match against Bahrain on December 29, hoping to qualify for the semi-finals where tough opposition awaits in the form of either hosts Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE or Oman.
With most of the teams focusing on youth, Qatar have a really good chance of retaining the trophy with coach Felix Sanchez announcing a balanced side.
Hassan al-Haidous, Abdelkarim Hassan, Karim Boudiaf and goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb are some of the experienced players in the team. They have played plenty of international matches over the past three years as part of Qatar’s qualifying campaign for the Asian Cup and next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Although Qatar didn’t make the cut for Russia, the experience of those matches will certainly help them tackle their Gulf rivals.
Promising youngsters like Akram Afif, Ahmed Moein and Mohamed Muntari also form part of the squad, coached by Felix Sanchez.
Sanchez has also added Al Shamal forward Ali Fereydoun, while Montari is making a comeback to the squad after almost a year out due to injury.
Saad al-Sheeb, Youssef Hassan, Mohamed al-Bakari, Pedro Miguel, Assim Madibo, Akram Afif, Hassan al-Haidous, Almoez Ali, Ahmed Yasser, Mohamed Muntari, Hamed al-Abidi, Ahmed Fathi, Abdelkarim Salem al-Ali, Mehdi Ali, Bassam Hisham, Abdullah al-Ahrak, Ahmed Moein, Othman al-Yahri, Karim Boudiaf, Ismael Mohamed, Musab Kadir, Abdelkarim Hassan, Ali Fereydoun.
© Gulf Times Newspaper 2019