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PREVIEW: NAFT TEHRAN VS. EL-JAISH (QAT)

Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Timing: 18:30 Local Time (GMT+4).

Venue: Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran.


EL-JAISH SC

DOHA, QATAR

BACKGROUND

Established in 2011, El-Jaish (Literally the Army) is the youngest club on the Qatari football scene, owned by the Qatari armed forces. It initially played in the Qatar Gas League, the second tier of Qatari League but gained promotion after just one season benefiting from their vast resources and have since finished in the top 4 but are yet to win the Qatar Stars League.

2013-14 QATAR STARS LEAGUE

El-Jaish used three different managers as they failed to win the league once again finishing second, five points behind champions Lekhwiya.

2014-15 QATAR STARS LEAGUE (CURRENT SEASON)

El-Jaish continue their separation from the top two this time with 8 points, and are in danger of losing their 3rd place spot as Qatar SC are knocking on their door with one point in difference.

MANAGER

Forrmer Monaco and Parma French international midfielder Sabri Lamouchi joined El-Jaish less than 3 months ago following an unsuccessful stint in charge of Cote D’Ivoire which culminated in a group stage world cup exit.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Romarinho: El-Jaish boast a number of Qatari internationals including Mohammed Muntari & veteran Wessam Rezq, but their main goalscoring threat comes in the form of diminutive Brazilian forward Romarinho. Far from prolific in his two seasons with Corinthians with an average of just above 0.10 goals per game. But since sealing a $10 million move to Qatar, he exploded and his tally of 6 league goals in 10 games an encouraging sign for El-Jaish. He will need to take that form into the match if El-Jaish are to establish themselves as a proper Champions League team.


NAFT TEHRAN

TEHRAN, IRAN

BACKGROUND
Naft Tehran are a club based in the capital of Iran, Tehran. They were established in 1950 and are one of many clubs owned by the National Iranian Oil Company. They played their football in regional and lower leagues for many years until 2009/10 when they won promotion to the Persian Gulf Pro League. After a few attempts, they finally managed to qualify for AFC Champions League last season.
2013-14 Persian Gulf Pro League
They led the title hunt into the final day of the season but they were undone by a defeat to Sepahan and finished third in the table.
2014-15 Persian Gulf Pro League (Current Season)
Naft are currently the league leaders. Only two points separate them and second placed Esteghlal who have a game in hand.
Manager
Alireza Mansourian took charge of Naft in the summer of 2014. He’s a former Esteghlal captain and Iran international midfielder. He has the experience working with national team manager, Carlos Queiroz, when he was in charge of Iran U-23s.
Player to Watch
We believe Vahid Amiri, 26 year old winger, is crucial to this current Naft team. He’s one of very few left footed wingers in Iran. Very attacking minded and he always has an eye for goal. Usually plays as a left winger on a 4-2-3-1 formation but he has the ability to play as second striker if needed. But since he’s a doubt for Tuesday’s clash, Morteza Pouraliganji is another player worth highlighting. This 22 year old defensive midfielder has been a key player for Naft this season and El-Jaish will be wary of his qualities.

About Sina Saemian

An engineering student in Manchester with a passion for the beautiful game in Iran, from Esteghlal to TeamMelli and everything in between. Avid follower of Iranian domestic football and Middle Eastern football in general.

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