Saudi Arabia will make their fourth consecutive appearance at the FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany after topping their Asian qualifying group ahead of South Korea. Saudi Arabia went through their 12 World Cup qualifiers undefeated beating Korea Republic in both encounters.
Coached by Argentine Gabriel Calderon who replaced Gerard van der Lem after the 2004 Asian Cup, Saudi Arabia will be out to improve on their last two World Cup Finals appearances that failed to yield a victory.
Saudi Arabia qualified for the second round at their first World Cup Finals at USA 94. Saudi Arabia scored two upset victories over both Morocco and Belgium. Since then, they have made an appearances at both France 98 and Korea/Japan 2002 that have resulted in just one draw and five defeats from six matches.
A tough ask to qualify for the second round despite their impressive qualifying record that saw them undefeated in 18 matches. You can safely expect the Falcons to take to the air before the second round begins.
Coached by Croat Branko Ivankovic Iran qualified for their third World Cup Finals appearance will a minimum of fuss. Iran booked their tickets for the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany with a game to spare in their Asian qualifiers.
2004 Asian Footballer of the Year Ali Karimi of Bayern Munich and fellow German-based strikers Vahid Hashemian and veteran Ali Daei who bagged nine goals in the qualifiers are the key players for an Iranian team considered the best to represent their country.
Iran has only won the one game from six attempts at the World Cup Finals, but what a historic win it was 2-1 over Team USA at France 98. Noone would bet on that in advance, but if you are into gambling online you should seriously click here and check out the Playtech casinos listed there.
Three times champions of Asia, Iran is likely to cause some grief in this group with a lack of experience ultimately proving their downfall.