This game was due to be played in Australia but COVID-19 protocols mean that the Socceroos lost home advantage, with the tie being played in Kuwait instead.
Australia have not been in action since securing a 1-0 victory over Jordan way back in November 2019. Adam Taggart scored the game-winning goal on that occasion.
Kuwait played out a 1-1 draw in an international friendly with Lebanon last March. Shabab Al-Khaldi and Mohamed Kdouh scored in each half to ensure parity was restored at fulltime.
This Group B fixture pits first against second in the second round of the AFC section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Australia currently lead the way with maximum points from four matches, while Kuwait are two points below, having played a game more.
Both teams will be seeking all three points to boost their chances of progressing to the next round.
Australia vs Kuwait Head-to-Head
This will be the 14th meeting between the sides and Australia have a marginally better record in previous games played.
They have six wins and two draws from 13 matches, while Kuwait were victorious on five occasions.
Their most recent meeting came in September 2019 when a first-half rout spearheaded by Matthew Leckie's brace gave Australia a 3-0 away win.
The Socceroos have played just three matches (all qualifiers) since then, winning them all, while Kuwait are currently on a six-game winless run.
Australia form guide: W-W-W-W-L
Kuwait form guide: D-L-L-L-L
Australia vs Kuwait Team News
Coach Graham Arnold has named an extended squad of 31 players to dispute the four upcoming qualifiers. The squad is headlined by Matthew Ryan and Matthew Leckie.
However, the two notable absentees are midfielders Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic. The former has been with Shanghai Port and has not seen his family since making the move to China. The former Brighton and Hove Albion man requested the use of this opportunity to reunite with his family and it was granted.
Rogic had a season to forget with Celtic and is currently nursing an ankle injury.
Injury: Tom Rogic
Personal: Aaron Mooy
Kuwaiti manager Andres Carrasco will be looking to field his strongest side against one of the best teams on the Asian continent. The experienced duo of Bader Al Mutawa and Fahed Al Hajri are likely to provide guidance for what is a youthful team.
Australia vs Kuwait Predicted XI
Australia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Mathew Ryan (GK); Trent Sainsbury, Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Ryan McGowan; Mathew Leckie, James Holland, Jackson Irvine; Martin Boyle, Jamie Maclaren, Nikita Rukavytsya
Kuwait Predicted XI (4-3-3): Sulaiman Abdulghafour (GK); Abdulaziz Naji, Fahd Hummod Al-Rashidi, Fahed Al Hajri, Ali Atiq; Khaled Shaman, Rehda Abujabarah, Talal Al Fadhei; Faisal Ajab, Bader Al Mutawa, Shabaib Al-Khaldi
Australia vs Kuwait Prediction
Australia have superior firepower despite the absence of two key players. However, Kuwait have been on a steady rise in the last few years, even though recent results have been far from impressive.
With the rest of the AFC 2022 World Cup qualifiers to be played in Kuwait, home advantage could see Al-Azraq up the ante. A long spell without competitive action could be detrimental to Australia but we are predicting a narrow victory for the Socceroos.
Prediction: Australia 1-0 Kuwait
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