Saudi Arabia will be hoping to finish their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign as group winners on Tuesday when they host Australia for their final match.
The hosts are just one point behind Japan, having the chance to overtake them depending on their result, meanwhile, Australia will be hoping to build momentum for the playoff match.
Saudi Arabia currently find themselves second placed in Group B heading into the final game with a lot to play for, as they still have the opportunity to win it if Japan slips up.
The team can finish no lower, regardless of what result takes place on Tuesday, adding extra incentive for an attacking display in front of their own fans at the King Abdullah Sports City.
Herve Renard has witnessed his team fall short in their previous two matches, which included a 2-0 defeat against Japan and a 1-1 draw in their most recent outing.
Saudi Arabia shared the points with China in a game that finished 1-1 with Saleh Al-Shehri originally giving them the lead on the stroke of halftime, but they were unable to hang on, as Zhu Chenjie equalised in the 82nd minute.
The team have only dropped points in one other match throughout this qualification period, which will provide them plenty of confidence heading into this game.
The visitors were defeated on Saturday by Japan with two goals in the final 10 minutes by Kaoru Mitoma proving to be the difference for Japan, which ended Australia’s hope to automatically qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
However, their journey to the competition is not over yet, as the Socceroos have guaranteed themselves a third-placed finish, which means they will now head to the playoffs.
The squad will be hoping to take as much momentum as possible into that, which is why they shall be hoping to finish the group stage with a victory against Saudi Arabia.
The last time the two teams met they shared the points in a goalless draw, which is something that Australia will be looking to improve upon this time around.
After failing to score at the weekend, Graham Arnold will be hoping to see a more attacking side from his team, especially when they have nothing to play for in terms of progression up the table.
Saudi Arabia World Cup Qualifying – Asia form:
Australia World Cup Qualifying – Asia form:
We say: Saudi Arabia 2-0 Australia
While Australia have nothing to play for here outside of pride, Saudi Arabia still have the opportunity to win this group, and that should provide plenty of momentum for them.
Considering how dominant the hosts have been throughout their World Cup qualification, they will likely wrap things up in style on Tuesday with another win.