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Jun 15, 2021 at 7pm UK
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia
3-0
UzbekistanUzbekistan
Al-Faraj (25', 33'), Al Hassan (52')
Al-Faraj (67'), Al-Muwallad (90+2'), Abdullah Abdul Hamid (90+4'), Al-Ghanam (90+5')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Shukurov (90+1')

Preview: Saudi Arabia vs. Uzbekistan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - Asia clash between Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan will compete for a spot in the third round of World Cup qualifying in Asia when they meet in a winner-takes-all clash on Tuesday.

With one game in the second round to play, the hosts top Group D on 17 points, with the visitors just behind on 15; only the group winner automatically qualifies for the next round.


Match preview

Salem Al-Dawsari during a Saudi Arabia training session on June 24, 2018© Reuters

Saudi Arabia are yet to lose in seven games in qualifying, winning five times and drawing twice. They have not been beaten in a competitive fixture since December 2019 when they lost to Bahrain in the final of the Arabian Gulf Cup.

Herve Renard's team have played four times so far in 2021 – three qualifying games and a friendly – and won them all; scoring 12 goals and not conceding at all.

On Friday they were 3-0 winners over Singapore; the score was 0-0 until the 84th minute, but late goals from Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad and Saleh Al-Shehri secured what was ultimately a resounding victory.

Saudi Arabia are aiming to qualify for back-to-back World Cups having bowed out in the group stage in 2018, the same year that manager Renard coached Morocco in the tournament.

Uzbekistan have never qualified for the World Cup, but they will hope to take a step towards changing that with victory in Riyadh.

If the Turanians do not win the group, they could reach the next round of qualifying by ranking as one of the best runner-up teams, but they may need a point on Tuesday for that to happen.

Uzbekistan just about kept their qualifying dreams alive on Friday with a narrow 1-0 win over Yemen courtesy of a first half penalty from Jaloliddin Masharipov.

Nonetheless, it was a fourth win in five games for Vadim Abramov's side and a third consecutive victory in this qualifying campaign, all of which have been accompanied by clean sheets.

When the two countries met earlier in the campaign all the way back in November 2019, Saudi Arabia won a thrilling game 3-2 having trailed 2-1 with five minutes to go; Al-Dawsari was the hero that day with a winning goal in the 89th-minute.

Saudi Arabia World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Saudi Arabia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

Uzbekistan form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Morocco head coach Herve Renard pictured on June 23, 2019© Reuters

Fahad Al-Muwallad has more international goals than anyone else in the Saudi Arabia squad and has netted four times in his last three appearances.

Salem Al-Dawsari, also a goalscorer against Singapore, is unavailable after picking up a second booking of this qualifying campaign on Friday, but Abdullah Otayf returns after his own suspension.

Midfielder Abdulellah Al-Malki was the only player in the starting XI against Singapore that does not play for domestic champions Al-Hilal.

Uzbekistan will be able to call upon midfielder Otabek Shukurov following the completion of his one-match suspension for picking up two bookings in qualifying.

Jaloliddin Masharipov has three goals in his last two international appearances and is the team's main attacking threat along with Genoa's Eldor Shomurodov.

Saudi Arabia possible starting lineup:
Al-Owais; Al-Burayk, Al-Boleahi, Al-Khabrani, Al-Shahrani; Al-Malki, Otayf; Al-Muwallad, Al-Faraj, Al-Kwikbi; Al-Hamdan

Uzbekistan possible starting lineup:
Kuvvatov; Alijonov, Kobilov, Eshmurodov, Zoteev; Akhmedov, Shukurov, Alibaev; Khamdamov, Shomurodov, Masharipov


SM words green background

We say: Saudi Arabia 1-0 Uzbekistan

With a place in the third round of qualifying at stake, this should be a tense but fiery encounter. Both countries are in excellent form and do not concede many goals which makes it a tough one to call, but Saudi Arabia have slightly more quality so we think the hosts will just snatch a victory.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Saudi Arabia vs Uzbekistan

Saudi Arabia
69.2%
Draw
15.4%
Uzbekistan
15.4%
39
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Saudi Arabia's Taiseer Al Jassam celebrates scoring their first goal with Yasser Al-Shahrani during the international friendly with Germany on June 8, 2018
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Al-Dawsari proud of scoring in World Cup
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Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

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