Preview: Iceland vs Saudi Arabia – prediction, team news, rosters
Sports Mole previews Sunday’s International Friendlies clash between Iceland and Saudi Arabia, including predictions, team news and possible rosters.
Saudi Arabia will continue their preparation for the 2022 World Cup with an international friendly match against Iceland Sunday afternoon.
The Green Falcons are preparing for their World Cup opener against Argentina on November 22, and they have played three friendlies in the past two weeks as part of their preparation.
Iceland were present at the 2018 World Cup, taking part in the group stage of the competition for the first time, but lost two of their three matches to drop out of the tournament in the first round.
Our boys won’t feature in the tournament in Qatar, however, after finishing fifth in their qualifying group, picking up just nine points from 10 appearances in a disappointing campaign.
Iceland are, however, unbeaten in their last six matches, including a 1-1 draw with Albania in the UEFA Nations League at the end of September.
Arnar VidarssonThe team will also face South Korea in a friendly match on November 11 before taking on Lithuania in the Baltic Cup semi-finals on November 16.
There are no points or prizes on offer for Iceland in this game, but the national team will be looking to maintain their recent unbeaten run, while their attention will soon turn to the Euro 2024 qualifiers. next year, having been drawn in Group J with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovakia.
Saudi Arabia were impressive in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, picking up 23 points from 10 matches to top Group B ahead of Japan.
The Green Falcons played two friendlies in the latter stages of September, drawing 0-0 with Ecuador and the United States, while they were also in action three times in the past two weeks.
Herve RenardThe team recorded a 1-0 victory against North Macedonia on October 22, while they drew their last two matches against Albania and Honduras.
Saudi Arabia are preparing for their World Cup opener against Argentina on November 22, while the national team will also face Poland and Mexico in the group stage of the competition.
The Green Falcons reached the knockout stage of the 1994 World Cup, beating Belgium and Morocco in the process, but have been knocked out in the group stage in their last four tournaments, including in 2018.
Iceland international friendlies form:
Form of Iceland (all competitions):
Form of Saudi Arabia international friendlies:
Iceland will be far from complete for this match, with a number of their players still involved for their clubs at this stage of the season, so head coach Vidarsson had limited choice.
Ottar Magnus Karlsson is the team’s co-top scorer with Aron Gunnarssonhaving scored twice for the national team, and he should be in the bottom third of the field.
A number of players are hoping to make their debut for Iceland in this game, including Logi Tomassonwho could potentially feature at left-back for the European nation.
As for Saudi Arabia, head coach Renard will once again make full use of his squad for this match.
Abdullah Al-Hamdanwho has five goals for the national team, is expected to feature in the bottom third of the pack alongside a teenager Abdullah Radif.
Fahad Al-Muwallad is the most experienced member of the squad with 72 caps, and the 28-year-old is again likely to start in a midfield position, while Mohammad Kanno and Abdullah Otayf should also be in the first XI.
Possible starting lineup for Iceland:
Schram; Gunnlaugsson, Muminovic, H Gunnarsson, Tomasson; A Gunnarsson, Einarsson, Andrason, Magnusson; Karlsson, Djuric
Possible starting lineup for Saudi Arabia:
Al-Owais; Al-Burayk, Tambakti, Bamsaud, Al-Amri; Otayf, Kanno, Al-Muwallad, Al-Faraj; Al-Hamdan, Radif
We say: Iceland 0-2 Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia will appreciate their chances of winning this game considering the players who will be absent for Iceland. It’s expected to be a relatively close game in terms of scoring, but Saudi Arabia should have too much quality for their opponents in the 90 minutes.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.