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[monks data]
Jan 27, 2022 at 5.15pm UK
Saudi Arabia
1 - 0
Oman
FT(HT: 0-0)

Al Alawi (22')

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

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

Saudi Arabia play host to Oman on Thursday evening knowing that victory will take them a step closer to securing their place at the World Cup.

While the home side currently sit at the top of Group B, Oman are in fourth position, four points adrift of third-placed Australia.


Match preview

Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard during a press conference on January 26, 2022© Reuters

Having been drawn in a group involving Japan and Australia, there was a strong argument that Saudi Arabia were third favourites to prevail in top spot of Group B.

However, 16 points have been collected from a possible 18, their only draw coming Down Under, and there is now every confidence that Saudi Arabia will upstage their more illustrious opponents.

A meeting with Japan is to follow this contest, a potentially pivotal clash in the grand scheme of things, but the Green Falcons will be focused on trying to take advantage of this game.

When the two teams met on matchday two, Saleh Al-Shehri scored the decisive goal, and Saudi Arabia have now gone 15 World Cup qualifying fixtures without suffering defeat.

Herve Renard will be optimistic about that becoming 16 on Thursday, although there will be no complacency within their ranks as their opponents look to stay in contention.

Oman already have a win over Japan in this group, and even collecting a point will keep the pressure on Australia, who they play next Tuesday, as they bid to earn a playoff tie.

Since their last World Cup qualifying fixture, Oman have played games in the Arab Cup, reaching the quarter-final stage before losing 2-1 to Tunisia.

Their opponents eventually made the final, only losing to Algeria in extra time, and it should give Branko Ivankovic and his squad the belief that they can cause their hosts problems on Thursday.

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

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

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

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



Team News

Sultan Al-Ghanam may deputise at left-back for Saudi Arabia with Nasser Al-Dawsari unable to reprise his role from the latest World Cup qualifier against Vietnam.

Salman Al-Faraj misses out through injury, leaving Sami Al-Najei in line to come into a creative role in midfield.

Having scored seven goals in his first 13 outings for Saudi Arabia, Al-Shehri should continue to lead the line.

Ivankovic could be prepared to name as much of the team which pushed Tunisia in the last eight of the Arab Cup as possible.

Mataz Saleh and Essam Al-Subhi are most likely to come into the team if any changes are made to the Oman side.

Saudi Arabia possible starting lineup:
Al-Rubaie; Al-Burayk, Al-Amri, Al-Boleahi, Al-Ghanam; Al-Malki, Kanno; Al-Muwallad, Al-Najej, Al-Dawsari; Al-Shehri

Oman possible starting lineup:
Al-Mukhaini; Mabrook, Al-Khamisi, Al-Habsi, Al-Kaabi; Fawaz, Al-Yahyaei; Al-Saadi, A.Al-Alawi, R.Al-Alawi; Al-Hajri


SM words green background

We say: Saudi Arabia 2-1 Oman

Despite the difference in positions, this should prove to be a competitive fixture. Nevertheless, while we expect Oman to raise their level with the stakes so high, Saudi Arabia's superior quality should shine through in the crucial moments.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Saudi Arabia vs Oman

Saudi Arabia
82.8%
Draw
10.3%
Oman
6.9%
87
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