Country Report – Saudi Arabia

    A look at the country’s demographics, football history and its squad status prior to the Qatar World Cup 2022.

    Number of inhabitants: approx. 35 million.

    Continent: Asia

    Confederation: AFC

    National Football Association: SAFF.

    Number of members: unknown. (?% of total population)

    International trophies won: 3x Asia Cup

    Best World Cup result: Round of 16 in 1994.

    Key Players

    In the past: Majed Abdullah, Sami Al-Jaber, Mohamed Al-Deayea, Saeed Al-Owairan.

    Key current players: Sultan Al-Ghannam, Salem Al-Dawsari, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Mohamed Kanno, Firas Al-Buraikan.

    Coach, formation and possible lineup

    Coach: Hervé Renard. (since 2019)

    Typical formation: 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3

    Possible lineup:

    • GK: Mohammed Al-Rubaie (Al-Ahli) 25
    • LB: Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al-Hilal) 30
    • RB: Sultan Al-Ghannam (Al-Nassr) 28
    • CB: Ziyad Al-Sahafi (Al-Ittihad) 27
    • CB: Abdulelah Al-Amri (Al-Nassr) 25
    • RM: Abdulaziz Al-Bishi (Al-Ittihad) 28
    • LM: Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal) 31
    • CM: Mohamed Kanno (Al-Hilal) 28
    • CM: Abdulelah Al-Malki (Al-Hilal) 28
    • ACM: Turki Al-Ammar (Al-Shabab) 23
    • ST: Firas Al-Buraikan (Al-Fateh) 22

    Age Report

    Players aged 25 or under in the current lineup: 4

    Players aged 32 or over in the current lineup: 0

    There are no players in this lineup that will (most likely) be playing their last World Cup this year.

    Four players in this lineup can play (at least) two more: Al-Rubaie, Al-Amri, Al-Ammar, Al-Buraikan.

    The remaining 7 players could play in one (or two, in some cases) more World Cups.

    Youngest player: Firas Al-Buraikan, born 14 May 2000 (22)

    Oldest player: Salem Al-Dawsari, born 19 August 1991 (31)

    Average squad age: 26.8

    World Cup Qatar – Group C


    Tuesday 22 November Argentina vs Saudi Arabia

    Saturday 26 November Poland vs Saudi Arabia

    Wednesday 30 November Saudi Arabia vs Mexico

    Our view:

    It is possible coach Hervé Renard will opt for an even more experienced lineup in the Qatar World Cup. But experience isn’t everything. That is why we have chosen for a decent mix of youth and experience in this possible lineup. We’ll see what it will be in November and December. Our estimate though is that Saudi Arabia will not progress past the group stage. Argentina (number 3 on the FIFA ranking) is simply too strong, and both Mexico (12) and Poland (26) should prove to be too much for Saudi Arabia (53) to handle. But anything can happen in the World Cup, especially in conditions that their players are well accustomed to.

    Prediction: Group stage exit

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