Saudi Arabia to kick-off FIFA World Cup 2018 preparations against Iraq
Kuala Lumpur: Saudi Arabia have revealed their plans to prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia. The Green Falcons are one of the five teams representing the AFC in this summer’s tournament.
Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi announced a five-stage programme which sees Saudi Arabia face eight opponents on the road, starting with a historic away match in Basra against Iraq on February 27, the first time the Saudi national team will visit Iraq since the Gulf Cup in 1979. The preparations conclude against World Champions Germany six days before the World Cup kick-off.
Pizzi, who replaced Edgardo Bauza at the helm back in October, is yet to make his debut in the dugout, but the Spaniard was determined as he discussed the team’s plans for the next five months.
“We designed this schedule to help us reach top form in time for the World Cup,” said the former Chile boss.
“The first stage is very important; we don’t have a lot of time until the World Cup, so it’s crucial that we all get to know and understand each other well.
“We are happy, proud of being at the Finals and want to deliver achievements that make the Saudi people proud. In order to achieve our goals, we need everyone to help us and work towards the same goal, the media especially need to be behind us.”
Saudi Arabia’s friendlies ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup
February 27: Iraq v Saudi Arabia
March 23: Saudi Arabia v Ukraine
March 27: Belgium v Saudi Arabia
May 9: Opponents to be confirmed
May 15: Opponents to be confirmed
May 28: Italy v Saudi Arabia
June 3: Saudi Arabia v Peru
June 8: Germany v Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s matches at the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
June 14: Russia v Saudi Arabia – Moscow
June 20: Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – Rostov on Don
June 25: Saudi Arabia v Egypt - Volgograd