Video: Be afraid. Oman's chief goalscorer looks a bit handy
Given our performance against Kazakhstan last Friday, facing a side ranked 47 places ahead of them with a striker that has a nose for the spectacular could be more challenging than we initially thought.
By Declan Whooley
We have researched our opponents very briefly ahead of the game, which in all likelihood is more than what Trap has done. And unfortunately they look like they can play.
Goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi is the most recognisable man in the Oman squad, but at the other end of the pitch lies the danger. The main striker is 28-year-old Imad Al-Hosni who has scored 38 goals in 78 internationals. Currently playing with Al-Ahli is Saudi Arabia he will be licking his lips after watching the Irish performance in Astana.
If you want proof of this man’s ability, check out this goal for his club back in March. His 10/3 price to score anytime looks quite tempting.
Not just a scorer of the spectacular over-head kicks in the Saudi League, he has a proven pedigree at club and international level. The tribute below suggests that any lapses in Irish concentration could be punished by one of the most prolific strikers in the Middle East.
With Trap looking to give some of the more inexperienced players a run-out at Craven Cottage, Al-Hosni and his team-mates will expect to give the defence a stern test. Particularly dangerous at set-pieces, Kazakhstan’s goal will have been duly noted.
From what we can see, the Omanese side appear to be organised, have an ability to play and come into the game in good form. Basically the polar opposite of ourselves. We can’t play any worse that in Astana, can we?