Saudi Arabia vs Australia
World Cup Qualifier – Asian Qualifier
Date: Thursday, 6th October 2016
Kick-off: 18:45 UK
Venue: King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah.
Saudi Arabia are sharing the top spot in Group B with their opponent Australia when the two sides met into the third matchday of 2018 World Cup Qualification fixture. Saudi had relatively easy opponents in the first two rounds and they let it late in both matches to score the winner. Against Thailand, an 84th minute penalty goal from Nawaf Al Abid rescued the day. And they were trailing 1-0 till the death against Iraq until two penalties in the last 10 minutes helped them overturn the deficit under controversial circumstances.
Australia earned a 2-0 win over Iraq in their first match, while were made to sweat at Abu Dhabi despite beating UAE by a solo goal by Tim Cahill. The Socceroos have already slipped once in the second round of the qualifiers as they lost an away game at Jordan. There is no doubt that they will be looking for an improved performance as the likes of Japan and UAE are looking to topple them for a top 2 finish in Group B.
Saudi Arabia vs Australia: Head-to-Head Stats
Australia have won in 3 of the 4 meetings against Saudi Arabia, while they lost once. The lone defeat came in the 1997 Confederations Cup fixture at Saudi by a narrow 1-0 margin. The Socceroos have won in all three fixtures since then, two of which coming in the qualifiers for 2014 World Cup.
Their latest meeting was in a friendly on September 2014 at the Craven Cottage in London which produced a 3-2 thrilling victory for the Australians.
Saudi Arabia vs Australia: Prediction
Both teams will be looking for improvement when they face-off on Thursday despite winning their opening two matches in Group B. Saudi haven’t scored a goal in open play, with all three goals coming from penalties. Australia on the other hand, tend to struggle in the opening hours of the play with all their goals coming in the second half. But the Socceroos have a better quality squad and are far more experienced than their oppositions. Moreover, they do not drop many points once they reach this stage of the qualifiers. They away side are slight favourites, but expect a tight clash on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia vs Australia: Betting Tips
- Australia to win at 2.15 (23/20)
- Over 2.5 goals at 2.35 (27/20)
- Both Teams to Score and Australia to win at 5.50 (9/2).