The Maroons are ramping up preparations for their 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign, which kicks off with a clash against Haiti at the NRG Stadium on June 25.
Qatar returned to winning ways last Thursday as they picked up a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Jamaica when the sides squared off at the Sonnenseestadion.
Homam Ahmed and Mohammed Muntari scored in an eight-minute spell to put the visitors in a commanding lead before Shamar Nicholson halved the deficit with a 61st-minute penalty.
Prior to that, the Maroons were on a run of four consecutive games without a win, claiming one draw and losing three, including a 2-1 loss to Iraq in the Gulf Cup semi-finals back in January.
However, Qatar now return home, where they have failed to win their last five matches in all competitions, losing four and picking up since last November’s 2-1 win over Panama.
Manager Carlos Queiroz will hope that last week’s victory over Jamaica can serve as a springboard for a fine run of form as his side conclude preparations for just their second-ever Gold Cup appearance.
Qatar enjoyed an impressive maiden outing at the CONCACAF tournament back in 2021, where they stormed to the semi-finals before falling to a 1-0 loss against eventual winners USA.
New Zealand were sent crashing back to earth on Friday as they suffered a 4-1 thrashing against Sweden when the sides met at the Friends Arena.
After falling behind to Callum McCowatt’s early strike, goals from Robin Quaison, Anthony Elanga and a brace from Jesper Karlsson helped the Blagult turn the game on its head.
This followed a 2-1 victory over China back in March, when a first-half own goal from Chenjie Zhu and Matthew Garbett’s 81st-minute strike helped New Zealand end their six-match winless run.
New Zealand head into Monday on a run of four consecutive away defeats across all competitions, dating back to a 5-0 win over Solomon Islands in the World Cup qualifiers back in March 2022.
Qatar friendly form:
Qatar form (all competitions):
New Zealand friendly form:
New Zealand form (all competitions):
We say: Qatar 2-1 New Zealand
Following their solid performance against Jamaica, Qatar will fancy their chances against a New Zealand side who have lost their last four away matches. We predict that the Maroons will pick up from where they dropped off on Friday and claim a narrow victory.