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Saudi Arabia - World Cup 2018

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The longest of longshots to win the tournament at 1,000-1 odds, the Saudis are a team that seems to be in constant turmoil.

The Saudis have changed managers thrice since 2006, and have a squad full of players who lack international experience (only 5 players have over 50 caps) but seem to hold potential.

Saudi Arabia World Cup History

While they may not rank among the big teams in World Cup competition, Saudi Arabia is one of the titans of their region.

They have qualified for the Asian Cup every year since 1984, having won it that year and again in 1998 and 1996. They also made the finals of the Asian cup in 92', 00' and 2007.

Having missed qualifying for both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, this will be Saudi Arabia's first appearance in the tournament since 2006.

Their best appearance to date in the World Cup was in 1994 when they advanced to the round of 16. That year was also the nation's first appearance in the tournament.

What Was Saudi Arabia’s Road To The World Cup

To get to Russia for this year's Cup, Saudi Arabia qualified as AFC third-round group B runners-up behind Japan.

Compiling a 6-1-3 record for 19 points in their group, they barely edged out Australia (who finished 5-4-1, also for 19 points) for the runners-up position.

The most impressive of the qualifying games was their final tilt against Japan, which they won 1-0 on a goal by Fahad Al-Muwallad in the 63rd minute. The Green Falcons will play two more friendlies before the start of the World Cup, one against Italy on May 28th, and another on June 8th against defending champ Germany.

How Does The Saudi Arabia World Cup 2018 Stack Up

As far as players to watch, Nawaf Al Abed leads the Falcons, having scored 5 goals in the final round of qualifying to help put his country back in the World Cup.

Also in the mix is Fahad Al-Muwallad, who has been called the 'Saudi Messi' and is currently on loan to Spanish Club Levante. Winger Salem Al-Dawsari is also on loan to a Spanish club, and both figured prominently in the Green Falcon's recent 1-1 draw with Ukraine on March 23rd.

Saudi Arabia Odds To Win World Cup 2018

Despite all its young and promising talent, the Saudis are still the longest shot to win the Cup.

They face tremendous difficulties in all of their group stage games with the odds of them making it into the knockout stage set at 8/1.

That isn't to say that this team can't pull off an upset, though. In their first match against Russia, all of the pressure will be on their opponents, and under their new coach and formation, they represent a bit of a wildcard. Look for the Saudis to have their best game in the opener, and then try and parlay whatever success they may have into the game against Egypt, where they are 4/1 odds to win.

Saudi Arabia World Cup 2018

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