Saudi Arabia vs Thailand
Asia – 2018 World Cup Qualifier
Date: Thursday; 1-September-2016
Kick-off: 18:30 UK
Venue: King Fahd International Stadium (Riyadh).
Saudi Arabia are in an attempt to replicate their glory days after disappointments in major tournaments in the last 10 years. After making four consecutive appearances at the World Cup final tournaments from 1994 to 2006, they failed to qualify in the last two attempts. The three time Asia Cup winners haven’t got past the group stages of the continental tournament in 2011 and 2015.
The Green Falcons have made a promising start under the tutelage of Bert van Marwijk, who guided Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup Finals. The second round of qualifiers were hardly any test as they finish top of their group above UAE, Palestine, Malaysia and Timor-Leste. The real test begins now, as they are grouped together with Australia, Japan and Iraq in the third round.
Thailand surprised everyone by finishing top of their group above the likes of Iraq, Vietnam and Chinese Taipei. They were also unbeaten in their six matches with 4 wins and 2 draws. However, it remains to be seen if they can replicate the same resistance against higher ranked teams in the continent.
Saudi Arabia vs Thailand: Head-to-Head
Saudi Arabia are unbeaten in the last six meeting with Thailand with 5 wins and a draw. Also they were victorious in the last three home meetings with Thailand with a goal aggregate of 9-1.
The latest meeting between these two sides was during the second round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Saudi won the home leg 3-0 after they were held to a 0-0 draw in Thailand. Both teams failed to advance to the next round after finishing third and fourth in the group.
Saudi Arabia vs Thailand: Prediction
Saudi have a strong head-to-head record against Thailand. But they shouldn’t necessarily be considered as favourites here. The War Elephants have earned surprise results against strong teams like Syria and Jordan in their recent games. So this could lean towards either end and is better not to bet on a full time result.
Thailand have scored in 11 of their last 13 games, while Saudi Arabia have scored in 12 consecutive games. So both teams to score and over 2.5 goals are better bets for this match.
Saudi Arabia vs Thailand: Betting Tips
Saudi Arabia to win at 2/7 (1.28).
Over 2.5 goals at 17/20 (1.85)