Saudi Arabia: Three players to keep an eye on at the 2018 World Cup


Osama Hawsawi (Defender, 32, Al-Ahli)

In their previous four World Cup appearances Saudi Arabia was outscored 32-9. That is quite simply terrible and if they have any intention of making it to the knockout stage they are going to have to improve upon that. Hawsawi is their most senior member of their defense, having made 135 appearances for the national team. It is his responsibility to keep this young Saudi defense organized and when things go haywire, keep them composed.

Salem Al-Dawsari (Midfielder, 26, Villarreal)

Al-Dawsari along with midfielder Fahad Al-Muwallad (Levante) and Yaya Al-Shehri (Leganes) all made the jump to La Liga last season as part of an effort to give the Saudi Arabian national team a little bit more experience, both for the World Cup and in future tournaments. Al-Dawsari thus far has had the most impact. Although he only played in one game for Villarreal it was in a match against Real Madrid, where he assisted on the Yellow Submarines two goals. Although not much can be taken from one match just the fact that he was training with Villarreal should give him some good experience leading up to the World Cup and help his prospects in possibly landing a new home.

Mohammad Al-Sahlawi (Forward, 31, Al-Nassr)

Al-Sahlawi is Saudi Arabia’s current leading goal scorer with 28 goals and one of the best strikers in the Saudi Premier League. He recently trained with Manchester United and given Saudi Arabia’s openness now towards seeing their players play outside of the domestic league, he may get a transfer after the tournament. But much of this depends upon how he performs in Russia. He can create chances of his own in tight spaces and is pretty dangerous on set pieces. If he can find his scoring stroke at the World Cup it may be to the benefit of both he and his side.

Saudi Arabia

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