Australia vs Saudi Arabia prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Australia will host Saudi Arabia on Thursday
Australia will host Saudi Arabia on Thursday

Australia will welcome Saudi Arabia to the Western Sydney Stadium for a matchday five fixture in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.

The home side come into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat away to Japan last month. Ao Tanaka's first-half strike and Aziz Behich's second-half own goal helped the Blue Samurai secure maximum points.

Saudi Arabia dispatched China with a 3-2 victory on home turf. Sami Al-Najei scored a first-half brace to help the Green Falcons secure the win.

This will be a clash between the top two sides in Group B. Saudi Arabia currently lead the way at the summit of the standings, having garnered maximum points from four matches. Australia are three points behind them in second spot.

Australia vs Saudi Arabia Head-to-Head

Australia have been dominant in previous games played against Saudi Arabia. The Socceroos have five wins to their name, while Thursday's visitors were victorious on one occasion, with two matches ending in draws.

Their most recent meeting came in a qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which saw Australia secure a 3-2 home win in June 2017.

The hosts' defeat to Japan halted a 11-game winning streak that stretched back to June 2019. Saudi Arabia have won nine matches on the bounce.

Australia form guide: L-W-W-W-W

Saudi Arabia form guide: W-W-W-W-W

Australia vs Saudi Arabia Team News


Graham Arnold called up 25 players to contest the latest round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy were high-profile exclusions. Adam Taggart and Rogic are currently sidelined with injuries while Mooy returned to his club Shanghai Port.

Injuries: Adam Taggart, Tom Rogic

Suspension: None

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia called up 26 players to their latest international camp. Yasser Al-Shahrani and Abdullah Madu were left out due to injuries while Mohammed Al-Kuwaykibi withdrew from the squad.

Injuries: Yasser Al-Shahrani, Abdullah Madu

Unavailable: Mohammed Al-Kuwaykibi

Suspension: None

Australia vs Saudi Arabia Predicted XI

Australia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Matthew Ryan (GK); Aziz Behich, Harry Souttar, Trent Sainsbury, Rhyan Grant; Jackson Irvine, Ajdin Hrustic, James Jeggo; Awer Mabil, Mitchell Duke, Mathew Leckie

Saudi Arabia Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Fawaz Al-Qarni (GK); Sultan Al-Graham, Abdulelah Al-Amri, Mohammed Al-Breik, Saud Abdulhamid; Sami Al-Najei, Abdulellah Al-Maliki; Fahad Al-Muwallad, Salman Al-Faraj, Salem Al-Dawsari; Saleh Al-Shehri

Australia vs Saudi Arabia Prediction

The two sides are in superb form and are unlikely to give an inch to a direct rival for automatic qualification spots. They both have enough quality to get on the scoresheet and both are likely to play on the front foot.

The absence of some key men for Australia robs them off some useful experience but this could be offset by the rousing support of their home fans after two years away. We are predicting the hosts will narrowly edge a high-scoring game.

Prediction: Australia 3-2 Saudi Arabia

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Edited by Peter P