Saudi Arabia's World Cup 2022 Standings
Saudi Arabia is the second team in Group A, which also includes Russia, Egypt and Uruguay. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Saudi Arabia's Odds To Win The World Cup
Saudi Arabia barely scraped through to the World Cup and is one of the lowest-ranked nations. They have had all sorts of issues with management and mentioned above, and have a poor record in the competition. They are not predicted to do too much in Russia, although the fact that they appear alongside the hosts, who aren't ranked too highly, and Egypt, who are making just their third appearance, gives them an outside chance of progressing to the Round of 16.
Sports Interaction are offering odds of +700 to be eliminated at the Round of 16 stage, which is likely as they should face either Spain or Portugal on the off chance they qualify from Group A. We feel that there are much better (and more likely) bets on offer and don't recommend placing a wager on the Saudis in this market - perhaps try the head to head fixtures, particularly in the game against Egypt.
Saudi Arabia's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Saudi Arabian team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Nawaf Al-Abed (Winger / Attacking Midfielder)
Al Abed's performances in the qualification process were critical as he notched up five goals for his country. To date, he has made 41 appearances for Saudi Arabia and 117 matches with Al-Hilal, the only professional club he has ever played for. He played in both legs of the AFC Champions League final in which his side was defeated by the Japanese side Urawa Reds.
Hazaa Al-Hazaa (Striker)
It has taken a while for Al-Hazaa to find consistent form, although it appears as though this may be the breakthrough season for the Al-Ettifaq frontman. His 2017/18 season has featured plenty of goals and assists to date, and after nine games in the Saudi domestic league, he was averaging a goal or assist every 79 minutes. This form led to his recent call-up to the national squad, and he managed a goal on debut in a 5-2 win over Jamaica.
The Coach - Juan Antonio Pizzi
Saudi Arabia has gone through a lot of managers. And when we say a lot, we mean it. Since the team first made an appearance in 1957, the Green Falcons have had a whopping 56 changes in management and have covered half the globe in the process. The revolving door policy of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation is best summed up by the appointment of Nasser Al-Johar on five separate occasions between 2000 and 2010.
Saudi Arabia is already onto their third manager in 2017 - Bert van Marwijk finished up in September despite leading the nation to their first World Cup in twelve years, while replacement Edgardo Bauza lasted just two months before being sacked.
Juan Antonio Pizzi is now at the helm after resigning from his role as Chile's national manager. While he managed a Confederations Cup final appearance, he failed to see the South Americans through to the 2018 World Cup and left as a consequence. He is yet to pick a squad for Saudi Arabia so we will need to wait and see what he does with the team in the March friendlies.
Latest Saudi Arabia's Lineup
Saudi Arabia's latest international was played against Bulgaria on November 13th, 2017. The full lineup was as follows:
Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Waleed Abdullah (Al-Nassr) - Saeed Al Mowalad (Al-Ahli), Mohammed Al-Khabrani (Al-Qadsiah), Mohammed Al-Fatil (Al-Ahli), Mansoor Al-Harbi (Al-Ahli) - Nooh Al-Mousa (Al-Fateh), Abdulmajeed Al-Sulayhem (Al-Shabab) - Ali Al-Zaqaan (Al-Fateh), Taisir Al-Jassim (c) (Al-Ahli), Salman Al-Moasher (Al-Ahli) - Mohannad Abu Radeah Assirii (Al-Ahli).
Reserves: Housain Al-Mogahwi, Mohammed Al-Owais, Abdurahman Al-Obaid, Hazaa Al-Hazaa, Abdulfattah Asiri, Ahmed Al-Fraidi, Yahya Al-Shehri, Mukhtar Fallatah, Waleed Bakhshween, Motaz Hawsawi.
Saudi Arabia's FIFA World Cup History
Saudi Arabia will be making their fifth appearance at the world's greatest sporting event when they kick off against Russia on the opening day. The Saudis qualified for four consecutive World Cups between 1994 (USA) and 2006 (Germany) and it was in their first that they were the most successful. The Green Falcons won two of their three group matches, defeating Morocco and Belgium, before losing out to Sweden in the Round of 16.
Since then, it has been pretty dire for the Arab nation; Saudi Arabia failed to win any of their matches in the following three tournaments and managed just four goals from nine games. 4-0 losses to France and Ukraine in addition to a whopping 8-0 defeat to Germany in the first match in 2002 have contributed to one of the poorest records at the World Cup - 2W, 2D, 9L with a goal difference of -23.
However, there is a sense of optimism leading into the 2018 edition. Saudi Arabia was solid (if not spectacular) in qualifying, and have been blessed with one of the easier groups in the tournament, drawing Russia rather than any of the top-ranked nations. While Uruguay will likely be too strong for them, there is a decent chance they could pick up results against Egypt and hosts Russia, who they will be looking to upset on June 14th.