How Will Pakistan Line-Up Against Giants Saudi Arabia: Opposition Analysis

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Pakistan is set to face the formidable Saudi Arabia tomorrow, a team led by Roberto Mancini, who boasts titles such as the 2021 Euro Championship and the 2012 Premier League.

Saudi Arabia typically employs a 3-1-4-2 formation, aiming to overwhelm the defense with an aggressive front six. This strategy was evident in their recent matches against Tajikistan and during their encounter with Pakistan in November.

The team relies heavily on wingbacks, with players like Saud Abdul Hamid and Nasser Al Dawsari stretching the play, supported by Salem Al Dawsari and Mohammed Kano in the half-spaces.

In their match against Pakistan, Mancini’s squad completed 570 passes and attempted 41 long balls, with 20 successfully finding their target.

Saudi Arabia’s attack focuses on the flanks, utilizing the wide areas of the pitch. They attack 39% of the time from the right flank and 35% from the left. In their last match against Pakistan, the Green Falcons attempted 20 crosses and 16 in their latest match against Tajikistan, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Mancini’s philosophy centers on controlling possession, particularly in the midfield, where they stifled Pakistan’s defense with 49% possession in the middle third during their last encounter.

To unlock rigid defenses, Saudi Arabia often plays the ball over the top between the center-back and full-back with precision, using quick “pass and move” strategies with pacey wingers.

Pakistan will need to defend in a 4-4-2 formation with a solid backline featuring Rao Umer Hayat, Abdullah Iqbal, Saddam Junior, and Mohammad Fazal, protected by midfielders Rahis Nabi and Ali Uzair Gujjar, who is likely to feature in the absence of Alamgir.

Shayek Dost will cover Mohammad Fazal on the left flank, while Otis Khan or Moin Ahmed Junior might start on the right to support Rao. Fareed Ullah can play a false nine or defensive striker role, adept at shadow pressing, while the main striker could be either Mckeal Abdullah or Imran Kayani, both capable of pressing from the front.

Stephen Constantine may take a chance on a youngster, given his history of bold selections. Let us know your preferred XI.

Pakistan will face Saudi Arabia in their final home game of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers at Jinnah Stadium tomorrow at 8.30 pm PST.

Here’s Pakistan’s expected line-up:

GK: Yousuf Butt
RB: Rao Umer Hayat
CB: Abdullah Iqbal
CB: Mohammad Saddam Junior
LB: Mohammad Fazal
CM: Rahis Nabi
CM: Ali Uzair
RW: Shayek Dost
LW: Otis Khan
ST: Fareed Ullah
ST: Mckeal Abdullah

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