Soccer Saudi Arabia name World Cup squad without regular top-flight keeper

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard named four goalkeepers, including three who are not regulars at their clubs, in a preliminary 32-man squad for the World Cup starting next month.

The French coach called up Mohamed Al-Owais, Fawaz Al-Qarni and Nawaf Al-Aqidi, who are not first choices for Al-Hilal, Al-Shabab and Al-Nassr respectively. The fourth keeper, Mohamed Al-Yami, plays for second-tier Al-Ahly.

Renard recalled Ittihad midfielder Abdulrahman Al-Aboud after he was left out of September's friendlies. He also called up Abha midfielder Riyadh Sharahili, 29, who made his international debut last month.

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Al-Hilal duo Mohamed Kanno and Abdulelah Al-Malki were also included in the squad even though they have not played this season. Al-Malki has been out since suffering a serious knee injury in February.

The Saudis play five warm-up games in Abu Dhabi against North Macedonia, Albania, Honduras, Iceland and Panama this month and in early November.

Saudi Arabia play in Group C in Qatar along with Argentina, Mexico and Poland. They held fellow World Cup finalists Ecuador and the United States to goalless draws last month.


Goalkeepers: Mohamed Al-Owais (Al-Hilal), Fawaz Al-Qarni (Al-Shabab) Nawaf Al-Aqidi (Al-Nassr), Mohamed Al-Yami (Al-Ahly)

Defenders: Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al-Hilal) Ali Al-Bulaihi (Al-Hilal) Abdulelah Al-Amri (Al-Nassr) Abdullah Madu (Al-Nassr) Hassan Tambakti (Al-Shabab) Sultan Al-Ghanam (Al-Nassr) Ahmed Bamsaud (Ittihad) Mohammed Al-Breik (Al-Hilal) Saud Abdulhamid (Al-Hilal)

Midfielders: Salman Al-Faraj (Al-Hilal) Riyadh Sharahili (Abha) Ali Al-Hassan (Al-Nassr) Mohamed Kanno (Al-Hilal) Abdulelah Al-Malki (Al-Hilal) Sami Al-Najei (Al-Nassr) Abdullah Otayf (Al-Hilal) Nasser Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal) Abdulrahman Al-Aboud (Ittihad) Ayman Yahya (Al-Nassr) Fahad Al-Muwallad (Al-Shabab) Nawaf Al-Abed (Al-Shabab) Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal) Hattan Bahebri (Al-Shabab)

Forwards: Haitham Asiri (Al-Ahly) Abdullah Radif (Al-Taawoun) Abdullah Al-Hamdan (Al-Hilal) Saleh Al-Shehri (Al-Hilal) Firas Al-Buraikan (Al-Fateh)

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Reporting by Ahmed Maher in Cairo, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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