MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 11:59:07| >> :600:4456733:4456733:
Jun 11, 2021 at 5pm UK

Chand (45')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Leckie (6'), Karacic (38'), Boyle (57')

Preview: Nepal vs. Australia - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Australia will look to continue their unbeaten run in World Cup qualification when they face Nepal this week at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait.

With six wins out of six for the Socceroos so far during the campaign, you would expect Graham Arnold's men to pick up another three points against regional minnows Nepal.

Match preview

Mile Jedinak celebrates equalising from the spot during the World Cup group game between France and Australia on June 16, 2018© Reuters

A team that tends to be leaps and bounds ahead of the opposition in the Asian Football Confederation, Australia rarely struggle during qualification and this season has been no different.

The Socceroos have already won five fixtures by scoring three or more goals, with Arnold's side registering 13 goals across two matches against Chinese Taipei and five goals against Nepal the last time these two teams met in October 2019.

Against Chinese Taipei last time out, Australia won the game 5-1, with Mitchell Duke, Trent Sainsbury, Jamie Maclaren and Harry Souttar all finding the back of the net.

Australia currently top Group B, with 18 points and 24 goals scored.

For the record, the Socceroos have only conceded two goals so far.

In contrast, Nepal are currently fourth in the group, six points better off than last-placed Chinese Taipei following two wins against the group whipping boys.

However, it remains to be seen whether Nepal have what it takes to push on and register points against the tougher teams in the group.

Despite a narrow 1-0 defeat to Kuwait in November 2019, Nepal have been a fairly easy side to dispatch, and that does not look like something that will change when the team face the Socceroos this week.

Nevertheless, Nepal have had a good go of it this time around and head coach Al Mutairi will be pleased with a number of his side's performances.

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

Australia World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Mathew Ryan in action for Australia in their Asian Cup penalty shootout on January 21, 2019© Reuters

Australia's squad is a wild amalgam of players from leagues all around the globe, with Riley McGree coming from the English second division and Fran Karacic coming from Serie B in Italy.

Previously uncapped Connor Metcalfe performed well against Chinese Taipei in a cameo appearance and could potentially start this tie.

Nepal could start Arik Bista, Sunil Bal and Nawayug Shrestha after all the players came off the bench during the team's 3-0 defeat to Jordan.

Goalkeeper Rohit Chand is likely to retain his spot between the sticks for Nepal.

Nepal possible starting lineup:
Chand; Lama, Uparkoti, Shrestha, Tamang; Khawas, Bal, A Bista, Aryal; Rai, Riyal

Australia possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Metcalfe, Sainsbury, Good, Behich; Leckie, McGree, Hrustic, Souttar, Grant; Duke

SM words green background

We say: Nepal 0-4 Australia

There is a real gulf in class between these two nations, and we do not think there are many who will be placing bets on Nepal coming out on top. We are going for a big 4-0 scoreline for the Socceroos.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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