MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 19:58:17| >> :600:3973985:3973985:
Jun 11, 2021 at 6.10pm UK
Popalzay (23')
Noor (37')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Fawaz (13', 51')
Fawaz (5'), Al-Saadi (40')

Preview: Afghanistan vs. Oman - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup Qualifying - Asia clash between Afghanistan and Oman, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Afghanistan take on Oman in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Due to security reasons, the match will be played at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Match preview

Afghanistan have not played a competitive match in their capital city Kabul since a 2-0 defeat to Turkmenistan in November 2003, with only a handful of friendlies played in the country since the war began there that year.

Various countries have been used as a base for the Afghanistan national team to play at since, including Nepal, India, Maldives, Tajikistan and Qatar.

On the pitch, little has improved, with football generally neglected in favour of the national sport of cricket, in which Afghanistan have become a Test nation in recent years.

Indeed, Afghanistan's FIFA ranking of 149th puts them as only the 31st strongest team in Asia, which is reflected by them taking only five points from six matches in attempting to qualify for next winter's World Cup in Qatar.

Even winning both of their last matches against Oman and India would not be enough to keep their hopes alive.

Oman, however, have made decent strides in recent years, with their progression to the third round of Asian qualifying still in their own hands.

The Reds are all but assured of finishing second in Group E, but they need to be one of four strongest second-placed teams in order to advance to the next round.

Fortunately for them, their final two fixtures are against the bottom two teams in the group in the form of Afghanistan and Bangladesh, another nation which heavily favours cricket, of course.

Two wins would almost certainly be enough to ensure Oman's hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in nearby Qatar remain firmly alive.

Afghanistan World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Afghanistan form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Oman World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Oman form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Unlike their forthcoming opponents, Afghanistan's squad of players ply their domestic trade all over the world.

Noor Husin and Maz Kouhyar, for example, compete in the National League South and National League North in England for Dartford and Hereford respectively.

Oman have a much stronger domestic league, with 22 of their current squad of 23 players playing for Oman-based clubs.

The one exception is Jameel Al-Yahmadi, who plays his club football in Qatar.

Afghanistan possible starting lineup:
Azizi; Saighani, Amiri, Mukhammed, D. Najem; A. Najem, Husin; Amiri, Noor, Shayesteh; Sharifi

Oman possible starting lineup:
Al-Rashaidi; Ghellani, Durbein, Juma, Al-Busaidi; Al-Aghbari, Al-Saadi, Fawaz, Al-Yahyaei; Al-Ghassani, Al-Muqbali

SM words green background

We say: Afghanistan 0-2 Oman

We expect Oman to have too much quality for Afghanistan to be able to put up much of a fight.

Oman, who are currently 80th in the FIFA World Rankings, will be determined not to drop any silly points in order to progress to the next round of qualifying.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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