Group A: Saudi Arabia World Cup Betting Odds & Tips
Saudi Arabia have already exceeded expectations by qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia but they could find it extremely difficult to progress to the knockout rounds from a tricky Group A.
Saudi Arabia have been drawn alongside tournament host Russia, dark horses Uruguay and a vastly improving Egypt side and the Western Asia outfit are massive 26.00 outsiders to top the pool.
The Green Falcons will be making their first appearance in the major tournament since 2006 and they will be hoping for a better campaign than that one in Germany, having amassed just one point from a possible nine.
One of the huge positives is the man in charge, Juan Antonio Pizzi, and he boasts massive managerial experience, having been in charge of Colon Santa Fe, Universidad San Martin, Santiago Morning, Universidad Catolica, Rosario Central, San Lorenzo, Valencia, Leon and Chile.
The 49-year-old Argentine took La Roja to victory in the Copa America Centenario in the United States before losing to Germany in the final of the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Saudi Arabia boast some decent options in the final third and the trio of Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, Nasser Al-Shamrani and Naif Hazazi, who have scored 61 international goals between them, will be crucial.
Midfielder Ahmed Al-Fraidi, who plays his club football for Al-Nassr, also possesses good quality and he has an eye for goal, having bagged six times from 36 caps. Another player to watch out for is Nawaf Al-Abed.
The 27-year-old was the nation’s top scorer in qualifying, netting five times, and he will need to replicate that type of form in Russia if his side are going to qualifying for the knockout stages.
Saudi Arabia’s hopes will rest largely on the first game of the tournament against hosts Russia on June 14 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
A win would give Pizzi’s men a huge boost ahead of the second match against Group A favourites Uruguay before the final clash against Mohamed Salah’s Egypt.