Saudi Arabia vs. South Korea Friendly – Match Preview, Team News, Lineups

Saudi Arabia and South Korea are set to face off in a thrilling international friendly at St. James’ Park on Tuesday evening.

This game marks their first encounter since October 2019 when they played to a goalless draw at the Baniyas Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The Saudi Pro League made headlines in the summer with several high-profile players moving to the league.

Now, Saudi Arabia aims to make an impact on the international stage following the appointment of Roberto Mancini as manager.

Mancini, who led Italy to victory in the 2021 European Championships, is focused on reversing the Green Falcons’ recent poor form before their first 2026 World Cup qualifier against Jordan in November.

Unfortunately, Mancini’s side has experienced a string of defeats in their last five matches across all competitions.

They were eliminated from the Gulf Cup of Nations after a 2-1 loss to Oman in January and suffered a 2-0 defeat against Iraq.

In friendly matches, Saudi Arabia also faced losses against Venezuela and Bolivia (2-1) in March and put up a disappointing performance against Costa Rica in their most recent match at St. James’ Park, losing 3-1. With just two shots on target throughout the game, they hope to bounce back with a victory on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, South Korea has also struggled in recent friendlies, suffering two losses and three draws in their last five matches after being eliminated in the World Cup round of 16.

Their offensive capabilities have been lacking, with only one goal scored in their previous three matches, resulting in a disappointing 1-1 draw against El Salvador in June.

Most recently, they failed to secure a win against Wales, managing just one shot on target despite controlling possession.

Interestingly, South Korea has a favorable history against Saudi Arabia, winning two and drawing two of their last four encounters while keeping clean sheets in all four matches.

Predicted Lineups:

Saudi Arabia:

  • Al-Aqidi
  • Abdulhamid
  • Tambakti
  • Al-Bulayhi
  • Al-Shahrani
  • Kanno
  • Al-Khaibari
  • Hazazi
  • Ghareeb
  • Al-Brikan
  • Al-Dawsari

South Korea:

  • Kim
  • Seol
  • Jung
  • Kim
  • Lee
  • Hong
  • Lee
  • Park
  • Hwang
  • Cho
  • Son

Considering the recent performance against Costa Rica, Mancini may make a few changes in the lineup, potentially replacing Abdulrahman Ghareeb with Abdullah Al-Hamdan at right-wing.

Fahad Al-Muwallad is an option at left-wing, possibly replacing Salem Al-Dawsari.

On the other hand, South Korea’s coach Jurgen Klinsmann might make adjustments to his attacking lineup, with Hwang Hee-chan potentially replacing Gue-sung Cho in a 4-4-2 system.

Tottenham Hotspur’s captain Heung-min Son is expected to partner with Hwang, following his recent hat-trick against Burnley in the Premier League.

In terms of a prediction, both Saudi Arabia and South Korea have struggled during this international break, resulting in two goalless draws in their previous four head-to-head matches.

Therefore, it would not be surprising if Tuesday’s game ends in a stalemate, particularly considering South Korea’s lack of cutting edge in their recent match against Wales.

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