Saudi Arabia make their return to the big stage for the first time since Germany in 2006.. It was Dutchman Bert van Marwijk who managed to build a side that was much stronger than the sum of its parts and ended a decade of disappointment for Saudi Arabia to return the team to the upper levels of the Asian game..
Saudi Arabia FIFA Ranking : 67
Coach : Juan Antonio Pizzi
Key Players : Yahya Al Shehri
Yahya Al Shehri, Fahad Al Muwallad and Salem Al Dawsari were among a group of players who were farmed out to LaLiga sides in January, only to spend almost all their time on the sidelines.. A lack of match sharpness for the team’s most potent attacking trio could have a detrimental effect on a side already lacking experience of the biggest occasions..
The departure of Coach, the Dutchman Bert van Marwijk at the end of his two-year contract in September 2017 saw Edgardo Bauza take over for a short lived, three game spell before Argentina born former Spain international Juan Antonio Pizzi was put in place in late November..
Previous Tournaments :
Saudi Arabia are appearing at their first World Cup since 2006, when they failed to reach the last 16 for the third time in a row.. The Country’s best performance remains their debut qualification for the World Cup, when they reached the round of last 16 in 1994 after a memorable 1-0 win over Belgium..
The coaching changes since qualification meant their preparations have been disjointed while a decision to send a number of key players to Spanish clubs in an attempt to gain experience has not yield any good deeds for Saudi Arabia.. In Group A they have been put up against the hosts Russia, hot favourites Uruguay and Egypt. So even this time it’s going to be uphill task for Saudi Arabia to advance to the next levels of the tournament..
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