Australian manager Graham Arnold hopes to benefit from the support of the fans when his team plays in home for the first time in more than two years, Thursday against Saudi Arabia, in a clash that could be decisive in the path of the two teams towards qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
The Saudi team, led by their French manager, Herve Renard, who have reached the highest score so far after four games, could expand their Group B lead to six points if they win at Western Sydney Stadium.
The Australian national team has played their last ten games outside the country due to the strict restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The team will play its first home game after this long wait against the Saudi team, which defeated Japan, Oman, China and Vietnam.
Arnold said: “The Saudi team have a good career but have benefited from playing seven of the eight games in home, while we played 11 of the 12 games in away from home. Our fans will give us enthusiasm and energy, despite the relatively low level of influence from a tactical point of view. “
Australia are currently second in Group B with nine points, three points behind Saudi Arabia, while Oman and Japan have six points each.
As the first two meet in Sydney, Japan will face its latest rival Vietnam in Hanoi and Oman will meet China. in difficulties in Sharjah.
If the Saudi team wins the fifth victory with the victory of Japan and Oman, the team of coach Renard will widen the gap in test and will ignite the conflict for second place in the group.
But if Australia’s hosts win, the Saudi team will react.
The prime two teams from the two groups directly qualify for the Qatar 2022 finals, while the two third-placed teams meet in an Asian playoff to determine the team that will compete in the international playoffs.
Group A leaders Iran will be close to qualifying for the final stage, despite coach Dragan Skosic’s decision not to call up prominent Porto striker Mehdi Tarmi.
Iran leads the group with ten points in four games, and two points clear of South Korea, led by coach Paulo Bento, before facing the Emirates, who scored three points in the prime four games.
Syria meets Iraq, led by coach Dick Advocaat, in Doha in an attempt to secure the first victory to revive his faltering career.
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