Guide to Saudi Arabia v Socceroos
Photo Source: AAP
SAUDI ARABIA v AUSTRALIA:
World Cup qualifier, October 6, 8.45pm local, (October 7, 4.45am AEDT), King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah
* World ranking: 45
* Coach: Ange Postecoglou
* Captain: Mile Jedinak
* Qualifying route: Finished top of Group B (7 wins, 1 loss)
* World Cup record: Four appearances (1974, 2006, 2010, 2014)
* Third-round qualifying results so far: Australia 2-0 Iraq, United Arab Emirates 0-1 Australia
* Key man: Tom Rogic. The midfield maestro is in scintillating form for Celtic, saving some of his best performances for their biggest games. If he can pull the strings accordingly in Jeddah, it'll go a long way towards victory.
* World ranking: 52
* Coach: Bert Van Marwijk
* Captain: Osama Hawsawi
* Qualifying route: Finished top of Group A (6 wins, 2 draws)
* World Cup record: Four appearances (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)
* Third-round qualifying results so far: Saudi Arabia 1-0 Thailand, Iraq 1-2 Saudi Arabia
* Key man: Salman Al Faraj. Faced with what is surely one of Asia's best and most in-form midfield units, it'll be up to the Al Hilal anchorman to intervene and break up Australia's rhythm if Saudi Arabia are to stand any chance.
Australia and Saudi Arabia have played six times stretching back to 1988 - Australia have won four, lost one and drawn one.
Their last meeting was a 3-2 win for Australia in a friendly at Craven Cottage in London.
* Sep 2014: Saudi Arabia 2-3 Australia (friendly) London
* Feb 2012: Australia 4-2 Saudi Arabia (World Cup qualifier) Melbourne
* Sep 2011: Saudi Arabia 1-3 Australia (World Cup qualifier) Dammam
* Dec 1997: Saudi Arabia 1-0 Australia (Confederations Cup) Riyadh
* Oct 1996: Saudi Arabia 0-0 Australia (friendly) Dammam
* Jul 1988: Australia 3-0 Saudi Arabia (Bicentennial Gold Cup) Sydney
ROAD TO RUSSIA:
Two Asian sides each from two six-team groups will reach the 2018 World Cup, with the third-placed teams sent to a playoff.
Group A: South Korea, Iran, Uzbekistan, China, Qatar, Syria.
Group B: Australia, Japan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand.