The six-time champions have been among the leaders ever since their formation as Lekhwiya Sports Club in 2009. Entering last season as defending champions, Duhail’s grip on the title loosened when they endured a clutch of draws to end seven points behind Al Sadd. The Emir Cup win over the league champions, however, raised their confidence. The team, though, looks a bit unsettled at the start of the season. The departure of Yussef Al Arabi, who scored 26 goals last season, is a blow. But with Almoez Ali rising to prominence, and young Iraqi star Mohanad Ali joining their ranks, they have talent upfront. Youssef Msakni’s return after a loan spell will also boost them. Japanese Shoya Nakajima, who wasn’t very impressive, left for Porto, but with Ismail Mohamad returning from injury, Duhail will have adequate strength in the midfield. There is plenty of talent to choose from.