Saudi Arabia VS Croatia Live Football Score Match 16 Nov 2022
Saudi Arabia will entertain 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia at the King Saud University Stadium in a friendly on Wednesday (November 16).
This will be the third and final friendly for Saudi Arabia ahead of their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign opener against Argentina, with Mexico and Poland the other teams in Group C. In their two friendlies this month, the Green Falcons beat Iceland 1-0 on November 6 and played out a 1-1 draw against Panama four days later.Croatia, meanwhile, have not played since their 3-1 win over Austria in the UEFA Nations League in September. Vatreni will hope to leave a good account of themselves before opening their campaign against Morocco.Saudi Arabia vs Croatia Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
The two teams will meet for the first time.
Saudi Arabia are on a seven-game unbeaten run, winning twice, with all the games producing fewer than 2.5 goals.
Croatia are unbeaten in their last five games, winning the last four. They have just one defeat in their last 15 games, including friendlies.
Croatia have scored at least once in 13 of their last 14 games.
Saudi Arabia have not scored more than once n their last 18 games across competitions. They have also not conceded more than once in their last 11 outings.Saudi Arabia vs Croatia Prediction
Saudi Arabia are unbeaten at home in seven games and have relied heavily on their defensive prowess. They have kept six clean sheets and conceded just once but have scored just thrice.Croatia are on a four-game winning run and are strong favourites. They have the better squad and should secure a comfortable win.Saudi Arabia vs Croatia Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result – Croatia
Tip 2: Goals – Over/Under 2.5 Goals – Over 2.5
Tip 3: Croatia to score first – Yes
Tip 4: At least a goal to be scored in the second half – Yes
Tip 5: Luka Modric to score or assist any time – YesSaudi Arabia and Croatia will finalize their preparations for the 2022 World Cup with a friendly battle in Riyadh on Wednesday evening.
The Green Men most recently drew 1-1 with Panama in an exhibition game last Thursday, while Zlatko Dalic’s men have not been in action since beating Austria 3-1 in the UEFA Nations League back in September.Stringing together a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions should certainly set Saudi Arabia up well for a meeting with last year’s losing World Cup finalists, even if Herve Renard’s side have not been involved in many goal-laden performances in recent months.
After opening their November friendly period with a 1-0 success over Iceland, Saudi Arabia played out a 1-1 draw with Panama last Thursday, as Ismael Diaz’s eighth-minute opener was cancelled out by a Haitham Asiri finish eight minutes before the break.
Renard’s men are preparing to compete at the World Cup finals for the second time in a row after going out in the group stage in 2018, and it will take something special for the AFC side to avoid a similar fate against Argentina, Mexico and Poland in Group C this time around.
Fans should not expect plentiful goalmouth action in Wednesday’s encounter, as Saudi Arabia have only found the back of the net four times in their seven-game unbeaten run, as well as conceding a mere two goals – keeping a highly respectable five clean sheets.
Incredibly, not since October 2021 has a game involving Saudi Arabia seen more than two goals scored, with the Green Men beating China 3-2 in World Cup qualifying, and that encounter also marked the most recent time that the world’s 51st-ranked nation conceded two goals on home soil.Dalic had not even celebrated his first anniversary in charge of Croatia when he led the Chequered Ones out for their first-ever World Cup final four years ago, which ended in misery at the hands of France on a rain-soaked evening in Moscow.
Unsurprisingly topping their qualification group for the 2022 edition having only lost one game, Croatia also head into the Qatar tournament with the wind in their sails after making it through to the Nations League Finals – finishing top of League A Group 1 and gleaning revenge over France in the process.
While other teams faltered amid the hectic fixture list, the Chequered Ones recorded four victories in their final four Nations League games to make it through to the finals and now face the unenviable task of trying to go one better at the World Cup.
Croatia have been paired with Belgium, Morocco and Canada in Group F of the tournament and will begin their quest for glory against the African nation on November 23, and playing away from their headquarters does not phase Dalic’s side, who have won each of their last six away games in all competitions.
Wednesday’s game will mark the first-ever meeting between Saudi Arabia and Croatia, who could be forgiven for adopting a conservative approach to this friendly in order to avoid any devastating injuries before the World Cup.Saudi Arabia have been rocked by a doping scandal mere days before the World Cup is due to kick off, as Fahad Al-Muwallad was cut from the squad after he tested positive for furosemide in March.
The attacker – who had represented his country at the 2018 World Cup – saw his suspension lifted before an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), so Renard has elected to replace him with Nawaf Al-Abed.
While Renard will certainly take the opportunity to give as many of his players minutes as he can, established regulars such as 71-cap defender Yasser Al-Shahrani and 17-goal midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari should line up from the off. Experienced lynchpin Salman Al-Faraj was taken off injured in the win over Iceland on November 6, but Renard has confirmed that he will be fine for the World Cup.
Similarly, Croatia have a fresh injury concern to work around in the form of Borna Sosa, who missed Stuttgart’s Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday with a muscular issue and may not be risked for this friendly.
Dalic should otherwise be working with his full World Cup contingent as he prepares to return to Saudi Arabia following his stint in management with Al-Faisaly and Al-Hilal, and the notable absentees from the Chequered Ones’ squad are undoubtedly Duje Caleta-Car, Josip Brekalo and Antonio Colak.
Should 33-year-old defender Domagoj Vida come into the side here, he will earn his 100th cap for the national team – becoming the 10th player to do so and going level with Dario Simic in the appearance charts.
Croatia possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Stanisic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Barisic; Majer, Brozovic, Pasalic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic
Saudi Arabia possible starting lineup:
Al-Owais; Abdulhamid, Tambakti, Al-Amri, Al-Shahrani; Al-Najei, Kanno, Al-Malki; Asiri, Al-Brikan, Al-Daswari