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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Afghanistan vs Qatar preview, predicted lineup, injury news, H2H, telecast | 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Published at :June 4, 2024 at 10:12 PM
Modified at :June 4, 2024 at 10:12 PM
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Uttiyo Sarkar

Qatar will go as favourites in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Afghanistan are hopeful of continuing their dream run in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers second round when they host the heavyweights Qatar at the Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium, Saudi Arabia on June 6.

The Lions of Khorasam are high on confidence after their recent win over the Indian football team in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers but have to produce something even more spectacular to get anything against the reigning AFC Asian Cup champions.

The Stakes


Afghanistan’s win over India in their recent FIFA World Cup qualifiers meant that Ashley Westwood’s team now has an outside chance of making it into the third round of qualifying. They will need certain things to go their way for that, but a positive result against Qatar would be a huge boost. Afghanistan were humbled by Qatar in the reverse fixture but boast of more momentum and confidence this time around.

They will need to operate as one unbreakable unit, with players having to run their socks off and cover a lot of space to frustrate the Asian Champions. Afghanistan also must be clinical in set-pieces or whatever chances they create to get a shock result. A draw might not be that bad at all, but a loss could be damaging if one of India or Kuwait wins the other FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.


The Maroons have already qualified for the third round of qualifying even before they have to play their final two games. This means their upcoming games against Afghanistan and India in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers; both are quite insignificant and ones where coach Tintin Marquez can perhaps rotate his squad around and experiment with different players. But that doesn’t mean that Qatar will let these games go.

They are still likely to perform as strongly as possible knowing how important winning these international matches can be in terms of improving their place in the FIFA rankings. Moreover, a draw or loss against a minnow-like Afghanistan, over #110 places beneath them in the rankings can be quite embarrassing. Hence, Qatar will play with their feet forward and aim to get another win to maintain their perfect qualification round.

Injury & Team News

Afghanistan have chosen a fully fit squad and Westwood should have all his players available for selection against Qatar. The Maroons have rested several key players like Almoez Ali, Akram Afif, Hassan Al-Haydos and Abdulaziz Hatem for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers. However, young India-born winger Tahsin Jamshed could make his Qatar debut in this match.


Games Played – 6

Afghanistan – 0

Qatar – 5

Draws – 1

Probable Lineups

Afghanistan (4-4-2)

Ovays Azizi (GK), Habibullah Askar, Sharif Mukhammad, Zohib Amiri, Mahboob Hanifi, Rahmat Akbari, Zelfy Nazary, Taufee Skandari, Mosawer Ahadi, Omid Popalzay, Jabar Sharza

Qatar (4-3-3)

Saad Al-Sheeb (GK), Yousef Aymen, Abdullah Al-Yazidi, Mohammed Emad Aiash, Homam Ahmed, Ahmed Fatehi, Mostafa Meshaal, Mahdi Salem, Yusuf Abdurisag, Tameem Al-Abdullah, Ahmed Al-Rawi

Players to Watch

Omid Popalzay (Afghanistan)

Omid Popalzay remains Afghanistan’s most versatile and unpredictable attacking talent and the Lions of Khorasam will have a lot of hopes for him to prove his quality against this inexperienced Qatar backline in the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers clash. Popalzay produced a solid effort against India, causing trouble with his movement and passes into key areas.

He’ll look to be a menace with his constant running between the defensive lines and trying to destabilize the Qatar backline. But Popalzay has to be extremely clinical and decisive with timing his passes to perfection to create chances. He’ll also need to be at his ruthless best in finishing them off for Afghanistan to have any chance of getting a decent result.

Ahmed Al-Rawi (Qatar)

Ahmed Al-Rawi is coming off a pretty solid 2023-24 season in the Qatar Stars League with Al-Rayyan. He scored four goals in 13 appearances for them, even though he mostly operated in a substitute role to help them to a second-place finish after fighting strongly in the title race.

Al-Rawi is a feisty forward who tends to trouble the defenders with his fast movement in the final and has the knack of getting into the right areas. He’ll aim to prove that against Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers clash, destabilizing their backline with his movement and also asking for delivery into the box. He’ll need to be clinical to break this sturdy Afghanistan backline and add more goals to his tally for Qatar.

Did you know?

  • Afghanistan played out their (only) draw against Qatar in the 1979 AFC Asian Cup.
  • Qatar’s previous match against Afghanistan saw them pick up a massive 9-1 win in the World Cup qualifiers last year.
  • Afghanistan’s win over India in their previous World Cup qualifier is the first time they have defeated the Blue Tigers in a qualifying game.

Telecast details

The Afghanistan vs Qatar clash will take place at Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium, Saudi Arabia on Thursday (June 6). It will kick off at 9:30 PM IST.

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