|Ikhlas vs. Sabr
||10pm - 11am
Let’s say the truth; when the draft commenced way back in August most of us thought the finals would come back to these two. The lengthy regular season with a rather even schedule ended up ensuring that surprises would be difficult to come by. The only teams that would be given a chance for the championship are the best teams.
A lot of people believe that Ikhlas holds the edge as the favourite even though they ended up second in the standings. The reason for this notion is the Isa Khan trade which has eliminated what was considered a weakness for Ikhlas: offensive depth. With Khan they now have a top 6 group of forwards who can match up against any team.
Another reason to ostensibly put the odds in Ikhlas’ favour is the fact that Sabr was unable to beat them all season long. It’s easy to say that the regular season doesn’t matter anymore, which it doesn’t, but unless Sabr can find a way to adjust it will be difficult to ignore the past.
Ikhlas is well aware of Sabr’s strength, which is offensive speed, and has found ways to use their skillful defense to neutralize that strength. When your strength becomes less and less relevant, how do you win games? That’s the question Sabr must answer in this best-of-3 series.Gehad Alhundi, who is well-regarded for his “x’s and o’s” knowledge, will have to craft a strategy that is simple enough to implement but effective enough to work for Sabr.
Burning Questions: Will Ikhlas continue their regular season dominance over Sabr or will Sabr have some tricks up their sleeve?
Who’s Hot? I’m going back with Hisham Ali who scored a great goal from his backside last game. He has been driving the net with authority and getting rewarded for that.
Player to Watch: Idris Khan – facing off against two of your brothers and many of your close friends can’t be easy but when Khan has produced, Sabr has thrived. He’ll need to bring his A game this series.
Notes: Zuhair Kanji and Naveed Sheraly have swapped spots the past few weeks with Sheraly playing defense and Kanji playing offense…no telling where they’ll play this week. Sabr might take a page from that and undergo some big line-changes next week as they try to mix things up in this big series.