Khalfan back from injury to boost Arabi.
By Sports Reporter/Doha
Al Arabi midfielder Khalfan Ibrahim, who missed their 3-1 win over Al Gharafa in Week 21 of the QNB Stars League due to an injury, has returned to training as they gear up for their Week 22 match against Al Khor. After a break, Al Arabi started their preparations under Croatian coach Luka Bonacic. The Dream Team are seeking their fifth consecutive victory to finish the season on a strong note. Al Arabi are seventh in the standings with 24 points. The squad is training without Saad Nateq and Ahmed Fathi, who are representing hosts Iraq and Qatar respectively in the ongoing international friendly tournament also featuring Syria. The duo will join the sessions soon. Al Arabi had beaten Al Khor 3-0 in the first phase. Meanwhile, Al Rayyan are preparing in earnest for their AFC Champions League match against Iran's Esteghlal, to be played in Tehran on Monday, 2nd April. Al Rayyan players, except Mohammed Alaaeldin and Ibrahim Masood who are representing Qatar in the tri-nation international friendly tournament also featuring hosts Iraq and Syria, are going ahead with their training under the watchful eyes of Danish coach Michael Laudrup. Laudrup is to finalise the squad for the Esteghlal match before they leave for Tehran on April 1. Al Rayyan are currently second in Group D with six points behind Esteghlal, so The Lions will be keen to win the game and thus go top of the group. Al Ain are third with four points, followed by Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal on two. Al Rayyan and Esteghlal had played out a 2-2 draw in Doha in the first round. Elsewhere, striker Abdulkader Ilyas Elias has joined Al Markhiya's training ahead of their QNB Stars League Week 22 game against Umm Salal as he has recovered from an injury that kept him out of the last two matches. Al Markhiya had lost 2-4 to new champions Al Duhail in Week 21, resulting in their relegation, even though they had beaten Al Ahli 2-0 in Week 20. Al Markhiya returned to the Second Division after Al Kharaitiyat defeated Qatar SC 3-2 to earn a play-off berth with Al Wakrah. Al Markhiya stayed on 12 points, while Al Kharaitiyat moved to 16 to be the 11th-placed side in the QNB Stars League that plays off with the Second Division runners-up. Despite relegation, Al Markhiya are eagerly preparing for the last-round action and also for the Emir's Cup. The squad, under Tunisian coach Adel Sellimi, is training without Rebin Solaqa, who is doing duty for Iraq in the ongoing international friendly tournament also featuring Qatar and Syria, as well as Anas Mubarak, who recently underwent a surgery at Aspetar.
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