5 Saudi Arabia players to watch out for:
Saudi Arabia enter the World Cup after a 12-year recess. Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, Egypt and home team Russia complete group A. While the FIFA 2018 World Cup will have some of the best footballing nations and it is easy to count Saudi Arabia down, the Asian giants will fancy their chances of making it through to the round of 16. In Juan Antonio Pizzi, they have an experienced manager who’s lead the likes of Chile to a Copa America title and a Confederation Cup finals. For Saudi to overhaul the sides from Group A, every aspect of the game has to work in tandem. Who are going to be the match winners for them? We look at 5 Saudi Arabia players to watch out for.
SAUDI ARABIA SQUAD FOR FIFA 2018 WORLD
Goalkeepers: Mohammed Al Owais (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Mosailem (Al Ahli), Abdullah Al Mayouf (Al Hilal)
Defenders: Mansoor Al Harbi (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Shahrani (Al Hilal) Mohammed Al Breik (Al Hilal), Motaz Hawsawi (Al Ahli), Osama Hawsawi (Al Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al Nassr), Ali Al Bulaihi (Al Hilal)
Midfielders: Abdullah Al Khaibari (Al Shabab), Abdulmalek Al Khaibri (Al Hilal), Abdullah Otayf (Al Hilal), Taiseer Al Jassim (Al Ahli), Houssain Al Mogahwi (Al Ahli), Salman Al Faraj, Mohamed Kanno (both Al Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Salem Al Dawsari (Al Hilal), Yahya Al Shehri (Al Nassr), Fahad Al Muwallad (Al Ittihad)
Forwards: Mohammad Al Sahlawi (Al Nassr), Muhannad Assiri (Al Ahli)
5 SAUDI ARABIA PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
1. TAISSER AL-JASSIM
Easily their best player, Taissr Al Jassim has a truckload of expectations on his shoulders this World Cup. The Saudi international has played 132 games for his country and will play an important role moving forward. Al Jassim has scored 19 goals for ‘The Falcons’ and also scored in the friendly against Germany on the 8th of June.
2. OSAMA HAWSAWI
If Saudi envisage an entry into the top 16, their defence has to work diligently. Osama Hawsawi has been one of the key figures for the Al-Suqour. The centre-back has played 135 games for his country and has represented the best clubs in Saudi Arabia, Al Ahli and Al Hilal. Hawsawi is a rock at the back and his form will rather apparently decide Saudi’s stint.
3. YASSER AL-MOSAILEM
In goal, Saudi Arabia will use the services of Yasser Al-Mosailem. The Al Ahli shot-stopper has represented Saudi 32 times and this World Cup he’ll be up against the likes of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Mohammad Salah. Can the Saudi defence and Al-Mosailem form a stern rearguard? Al-Mosailem has certainly got his work cut-out.
4. SALEM AL-DAWSARI
Al-Dawsari operates on the right wing. His partnership with Taisser Al Jassim will affirm Saudi Arabia’s run in the group stages. Al-Dawsari plays for Al-Hilal and in the year 2018 was sent on a loan to Villareal. In his only game for Villareal, Al-Dawsari supplied 2 goals helping his team reduce a 2-goal deficit. He’s certainly one of the 5 Saudi Arabia players to watch out for.
5. MOHAMMAD AL-SAHLAWI
Al-Sahlawi is 6th on Saudi Arabia’s goal scorers. He’s represented his country 40 times and has found the back of the net 28 times. Sahlawi provides the Falcons with yet another attacking option and his knack of scoring crucial goals will help the team immensely. Can the striker turn his country’s fortunes this year?
Saudi Arabia haven’t won a World Cup game since 1994. They did qualify thrice consecutively after ’94 but were sent home after the group stages. This year’s World Cup will probably be one of the most buoyant tournaments and teams are going to be ever so ruthless as far as winning is concerned. Can Saudi Arabia better their World Cup run this year?
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