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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Under suspicion, America faces Saudi Arabia in final World Cup rehearsal

After a crushing defeat at the hands of Japan on Friday, the US will face Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, on Tuesday in their last Test before returning to the World Cup.

The North American team, absent from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, is expected to overcome its captain Christian Pulisic, who was absent at the last minute in a 2-0 loss against Japan on Friday.

The Chelsea striker’s absence, due to a setback in training, made the Japanese team out of attack for the team overwhelmed by the intensity and pressure.

The game not only raised doubts about the two lines under suspicion in the United States, the central defense and the center of the attack, but also left more questions about their ability to impose themselves on opponents, who would be in possession of the ball. want to do.

“We did poorly,” said United States coach Greg Berhalter. “We weren’t up to our normal level in almost every aspect.”

The coach demanded more “personality” from his team, which has the youngest average age at the World Cup and required references such as Pulisic on the pitch.

Despite a turbulent start to the season at Chelsea, Berhalter has high hopes from the striker.

Pulisic has barely played a game as a start for the team that fired coach Thomas Tuchel earlier this month.

In a final deciding test before the called list, Berhalter could recover young Mexican-American Ricardo Pepi (Groningen) for point of attack, separated from the lists by the end of the CONCACAF qualifiers, in which he found himself temporarily Came to install as the owner. ,

The United States are placed in Group B in the World Cup along with England, Wales and Iran.

– Rivals of Argentina and Mexico –

Guided by Frenchman Hervé Renard from 2019 onwards, Saudi Arabia will rival Argentina, Mexico and Poland in Group C of Qatar-2022.

In their preparation, Saudi Arabia faced several South American rivals such as Colombia and Venezuela, with whom they lost 1–0 in a friendly in June, and Ecuador, with whom they drew 0–0 last Friday. , that too in Murcia.

Renard still has six more tests to go through in October and November to prepare for the World Cup, a competition which Saudi Arabia only made out of the group stage in its debut in 1994.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have met six times since 1992 with three wins and two American losses and one draw.

The match will begin at 8:00 PM local time (6:00 PM GMT) at the Nueva Condomina Stadium in Murcia, Spain, with a capacity of 31,000 spectators.

Possible lineup:

Estados Unidos: Matt Turner – Reggie Cannon, Walker Zimmerman, Mark Mackenzie, Sergino Dest – Kellyanne Acosta, Weston McKennie, Brendan Aarons – Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna and Ricardo Pepi. DT: Greg Berhalter.

Arab Saudia: Muhammad al-Owais – Saud Abdulhamid, Abdellah al-Amri, Ali Hadi al-Bulahi, Yasir al-Shahrani – Sultan al Ghanam, Ali al Hasan, Mohamed Kanno – Nawaf al Abid, Firas Albrekan and Salem Eldosri. DT: Hervé Renard.

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