Last Updated on Oct 13, 2021 09:44 AM
Venue: King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah
Japan look to go joint top of the group as they take on Saudi Arabia here. The Japanese suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Oman to kickstart this stage of the Qualifiers, but they bounced back to beat China by a 1-0 margin last time around. The hosts, meanwhile, have won both of their games so far, but will face their toughest challenge yet in this one as they have lost in 3 of the last 4 meetings between these sides, with the latest being a 1-0 defeat in the Asian Cup in 2019.
Saleh Al-Shehri and Fahad Al-Muwallad are good forward options here. The former is their second-leading scorer in the Qualifiers with 5 goals and has also assisted once, while the latter has 4 goals and an assist to his name.
Salman Al-Faraj heads up the midfield options from the hosts, with the veteran having scored 4 goals in his 8 appearances in the Qualifiers. He has also averaged 1.7 key passes, 1 tackle, and 1 interception per game in the Saudi League.
Sultan Al-Ghanam is a good pick from the Saudi defence and he has assisted twice in the Qualifiers. He also averages 0.7 shots, 1.8 key passes, 1.7 tackles, and 1.8 interceptions per game in the Saudi League.
Yuya Osako is the joint leading scorer for Japan in the Qualifiers with 9 goals in just 5 appearances and he has also assisted twice. He scored the only goal in their win over China last time around.
Takumi Minamino and Daichi Kamada are excellent midfield picks here. Minamino is their other joint leading scorer with 9 goals and has assisted thrice while Kamada has 3 goals to go with 2 assists.
Maya Yoshida has a goal and an assist to his name in the Qualifiers and is the pick of the bunch from the Japanese defence. He has also scored twice in his last 5 games in Serie A.
Saleh Al-Shehri Fahad Al-Muwallad
Takumi Minamino: Minamino has been excellent for the national team with 4 goals and 3 assists in his last 3 competitive outings. He also scored twice in his only start for Liverpool this season.
Yuyo Osako: Osako has failed to register a goal involvement in just 1 of his last 5 appearances for Japan, making him another good option for captaincy. He also has a goal and 3 assists in his last 3 games in the J League.