Saudi Arabia – Group A – Overview and Saudi Arabia betting tips
Saudi Arabia are a World Cup 2018 participant and will be competing at the major tournament for the first time since 2006 after a memorable qualifying campaign that saw them pip Australia to the second automatic position in the AFC section.
That was a major achievement for the nation who will kick-off the competition against hosts Russia on June 14. Egypt and Uruguay will make up the group and whilst it wasn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia could’ve had it, they will still be seriously up against it given the quality the opposition have in their ranks.
Saudi Arabia managed to pick up a point in their last World Cup and that will be the target this time around with little hope of progression. Here at Open Odds we will give you the lowdown on the World Cup team Saudi Arabia 2018 as well as Saudi Arabia betting odds and tips.
Saudi Arabia prediction: How well will they do?
Not very well. In all seriousness, getting to Russia was a major achievement for the national team and they will be determined to enjoy every minute whilst they are out there. Whilst the draw wasn’t too unkind to them as a fourth seed, they are still playing against some of the best players in the world. For example, Egypt have Mo Salah and Uruguay the deadly duo of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, whereas Russia are hosts and will be backed by a noisy home crowd.
It’s also worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia head to Russia as the lowest ranked side out of all 32 teams so fans shouldn’t expect much from them this summer. Unfortunately, the bookmakers recognise that and you can only get 4/11 with Sky Bet on Saudi Arabia finishing bottom of Group A.
Given their lack of quality it seems inevitable but those odds are not very appealing to punters. They may be worth including in a winner, last place double. For example, Uruguay to win Group A and Saudi Arabia to finish last is 15/8 with the same bookmakers. That seems the only way to get value on Saudi Arabia to finish bottom of the group.
Best Odds Available at SkyBet
Journey to the World Cup — Who did Saudi Arabia beat to qualify?
We briefly touched on it, but Saudi Arabia actually did very well to progress and finished above Australia in their qualifying section to make the World Cup. The AFC section is split into two groups of six with the top two sides automatically going to Russia and the third having to go down the play-off route.
With Japan and Australia in their group, Saudi Arabia will have realistically expected to be challenging for third so they deserve huge credit for beating the Aussies to second. They were fortunate with the fixtures however, finishing up against a Japan side that had already qualified, but Saudi Arabia got the win they needed to join them in the top two.
All in all, they got 19 points from their ten games but picked up 13 of those at home. Their away form was poor, losing three and winning two of the five games and that will be a worry as they head to Europe for the tournament.
Best players for Saudi Arabia: Who should you be betting on?
It’s going to be very tough for Saudi Arabia and it’s harsh to say it but scoring a goal will actually be an achievement. In that sense, a lot of responsibility will rest on the shoulders of Nawaf Al Abed who was the main man in qualifying, chipping in with five goals. However the Al Hilal striker has suffered with injuries since, although he is expected to be fit and ready for the kick-off on June 14.
Another forward option is Mohammed Al Sahlawi who has a very good record for his country, scoring 28 goals in 37 games. The 31-year old made the headlines in the UK recently after it was revealed that Manchester United had let him train with them on a three-week programme ahead of the World Cup so he can stay in shape for the tournament. He is a best price 3/1 to be the Saudi Arabia top scorer with Bet Victor.
But, we would recommend betting against Saudi Arabia and instead going for no Saudi Arabian goalscorer at the finals which is also 3/1 from the same bookmaker. They were not clinical at all in qualifying and this is a major, major step up for the team. The reality is they are going to be defending for the majority of the game and they don’t have the quality or speed to cause problems on the counter attack. With the other three sides all needing to beat Saudi Arabia to help their own causes, there will be no let up too. Saudi Arabia not to score – 3/1- Bet Victor
Best Odds Available at BetVictor
Who manages Saudi Arabia?
The Saudi Arabia managerial position has been a controversial topic for the past 12 months. The man who will take them to the World Cup is Juan Antonio Pizzi but he was only appointed in November 2017 and became the third manager is as many months at the time.
However, he is there now and he may be a name fans remember as he also had a spell in charge of Chile, where he won the Copa America. Although he did resign after failing to guide them to this World Cup. Prior to that he has experience coaching in various parts of South America and also with Valencia. At Chile in particular he had been known to play a high-pressing, attacking game and it will be interesting to see what approach he goes with as Saudi Arabia manager.
Why bet on Saudi Arabia?
The World Cup 2018 Saudi Arabia side are arguably the weakest in the whole tournament and they will have a massive task just to compete. They’ve been handed a favourable draw in that sense because they are not coming up against a real elite side so they will be hopeful of avoiding any heavy defeats.
Yet, in terms of betting there’s not much you can say to support them. They look the weakest side in the group by a distance and scoring a goal will be a big ask. Don’t expect them to make much of an impact in Russia.
Best Odds Available at Betway