Qatar Football AssociationNews
25.08.2015 6:56 in :

Riyadh: Lekhwiya coach Djamel Belmadi has set his sights on ending Al Hilal’s unbeaten run at home in the 2015 AFC Champions League on Tuesday as the Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions seek to advance to the semi-finals of the continental club championship for the first time.

Al Hilal have a 100 percent record at the King Fahd International Stadium in the 2015 competition so far, with wins over Al Sadd, Foolad and Lokomotiv Tashkent in the group stages before a 3-0 win over Persepolis secured the club a berth in the quarter-finals.

But Belmadi believes his new side have the tools to halt Al Hilal’s impressive sequence of results and take a step towards their first-ever appearance in the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.

“It will be good to end Al Hilal’s unbeaten home streak but our main target is to qualify to the semi-finals,” said Belmadi, who replaced Danish coach Michael Laudrup over the summer.

“We have prepared very well and we are confident that we can defeat them and go through.”

Belmadi returns as head coach of Lekhwiya for a second stint having won the Gulf Cup with Qatar last November before taking the national team to the finals of the AFC Asian Cup in Australia in January. In his previous time in charge of the club, he led them to the Qatar Stars League title in 2011 and 2012.

Lekhwiya go into the first leg with no competitive action under their belts so far as the next edition of the Qatar Stars League has yet to commence, but Belmadi is unconcerned at his team’s lack of preparation.

More worrying, perhaps, is the loss of Slovakian midfielder Vladimir Weiss and defender Ahmed Yasser, who are both ruled out due to suspension. However, Luiz Junior, who missed the second leg of the Round of 16 win over compatriots Al Sadd, will be available for selection.

“We respect Al Hilal and we know them very well but we have great ambition and hopefully we can have a good match,” said Belmadi. “Al Hilal might have played two official matches before this match, but we have prepared very well.

“I had a chance to watch the match of Al Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup and we got some notes from the match which will be important for us. We will try our best to have a positive result in the first leg before the second match at home.”