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Defending champions Al Sadd kick off campaign on Sunday

DOHA: The 2021-2022 QNB Stars League gets under way from Saturday with defending champions Al Sadd will be hoping to retain the league shield following an impressive last season.

Al Sadd, coached by former Spain and Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, will kick off their campaign against Al Sailiya on Sunday (September 12).

Sadd will surely face fierce challenge in this 12-team event that starts on Saturday with a match between Al Gharafa and Al Shamal.

Under Xavi, Sadd are a well-knitted unit which recently had their pre-season overseas camp in Olot, Spain, from August 2-14.

They played two friendlies, with one win and a defeat. Thereafter, Sadd defeated Lusail 2-1 back home.

At the end of last season, Sadd renewed Xavi’s contract for two more seasons.

This time, Sadd has retained most of their professional players – Spaniard Santi Cazorla, Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah, the top scorer last season with 21 goals, and South Korean Jung Woo-Young, whose contract was renewed for two more seasons, and Brazilian Guillerme Torres.

Ghanaian player Andre Ayew was signed to replace Nam Tae-Hee. Ayew is a strong addition and has great potential, especially on the offensive front, which is what Al Sadd need.

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