The UAE and Oman are also in the same group, with Qatar, Yemen and Bahrain playing with Iraq in the second set.
The match, which brings Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, is usually the summit of the Gulf ball, given the history of their respective records, which overshadows their meeting, at the opening of «Gulf 23». Kuwait was the first Gulf team to crown the Asian Cup (1980) and qualify for the World Cup (1982). Saudi Arabia is the most successful team in the Asian Cup (1984, 1988 and 1996) and the World Cup (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2018).
The Gulf Cup is under pressure from the media and the media, due to the short period of preparation for the regional win, which followed the lifting of the suspension, but the local fans do not see any shortage in their team to grab the title for the eleventh time. "Kuwait's mission will not be easy, despite the players of the land and the public," said coach Boris Buniac, who is a member of Al Jahra club, who oversees Al-Azraq in the Gulf 23, refusing to be too optimistic.
Bunyak is counting on the stars of Al-Qadisiya and Kuwait, most notably Badr Al-Mutawaa Fahad Al-Anzi and Fahd Al-Ansari, one of the best Kuwaiti players of the past years.
On the other hand, the Saudi team seeks to register a good start in the tournament, and want to prove their presence to compete for a seat in the official configuration of the 2018 World Cup, especially that the Vice President of the Union of the head of the delegation in «Gulf 23» Nawaf Altmayat said the arrival to Kuwait that «between The players are currently six elements of the first team ».
The Greens have a mix of experienced players and young players who are taking part for the first time, with 15 of them looking to set their feet in the starting lineup. The official list of names is known except Ahmed al-Faridi, Omar Husawi, Mokhtar Flata and Naif Hazazi.
Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Fayez, the Saudi ambassador to Kuwait, visited Al-Akhdar camp, and stressed during his meeting with the team's mission that the country's leadership is keen on harnessing all potentials and preparing the atmosphere.
On the other hand, the two neighbors meet Oman and UAE in a fairly equal match, knowing that winning the first match will be a strong boost before facing Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the second round.
"The Gulf Cup is the World Cup for the Gulf countries," said Dutch coach Pim Verbeek. He said he would try to make the team look good, perhaps to compete for the title.
"(Gulf 23) will be strong, because the participating teams are among the best teams in the Middle East," said Verbeek.
On the other hand, the UAE is participating in the regional championship preparation for the Asian Cup hosted in 2019, especially as it is in a period of transition followed the appointment of Alberto Zaccheroni coach in October last ». UAE Vice President Abdullah Al-Junaibi also said that Zaccheroni "is not required to achieve results in the Gulf Cup, which will be an ideal opportunity" to prepare for the Asian Cup.