Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Tunisia will represent the Arab nations at the World Cup this summer.
With less than three months to go until football’s greatest showpiece gets under way, here’s a look at how the Arab nations’ fared during the international break.
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah could only watch from the bench as a second-string Egypt side slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Greece on Tuesday.
Hector Cupert’s side opted to rest key players after the 2-1 defeat to Portugal and looked lacklustre for large spells of the contest as they fell to the Pirate Ship.
The Pharaoh’s were undone by a Nikos Garel goal in the first-half – where their defensive weaknesses were exposed once again – similar to the two head goals conceded against Portugal when Cristiano Ronaldo pounced with ease.
Although it might be viewed as a disappointing week after the highs of qualifying for the World Cup, Egypt still have a chance to gain some confidence when they take on Kuwait, Colombia and Belgium in May and June.
The key between now and the World Cup will be to keep Salah, Mohamed Elneny and Trezeguet injury free.
Saudi Arabia will be disappointed with their disappointing finish to the international break, losing 4-0 to Belgium.
Romelu Lukaku (2), Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi scored in the Red Devils’ commanding win over the Saudis.
Like Egypt, Saudi have plenty of defensive work to do before they get their World Cup campaign underway against Russia on June 14.
Much optimism fell from the 1-1 draw against Ukraine on Friday, with Levante’s Fahad Al Muwallad 38th minute strike cancelled out Artem Kravets early first-half goal.
Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are preparing for their first World Cup appearance since 2006. The Saudis are still finding their feet under Pizzi after Bert van Marwijk was sacked in September – two weeks after leading them to the finals.
One of the best performing teams of the international break was Tunisia who cruised to 1-0 wins over Iran and Costa Rica.
Wahbi Khazri proved the hero for the home side as he soloed through unopposed to score a crucial 71st minute winner against Iran.
The North African giants, who share the same group with Belgium, England and Panama, should have scored a second but Khazri’s powerful close range effort was well saved.
The 27-year-old, may not have set the Premier League a light last season when he was on loan at Sunderland, but stepped up to show his class again against Costa Rica on Tuesday.
The skipper ran on to a ball over his head from his inside his half, fended off a player before striking it past Keylor Navas.
Morocco continued their fine preparations for the World Cup with wins over Serbia (2-1) and Uzbekistan (2-0).
Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech scored one goal and provided an assist for Khalid Boutaib as the Atlas Lions overcame a gallant Serbia side in Torino.
In their second match against Uzbekistan, Ayoub Kaabi and Hakim Ziyech scored to maintain Herve Renard side’s 100 per cent winning record from the international break.
Both victories were achieved without their star player Achraf Hakimi – the Real Madrid player withdrawn from the squad due to injury.
The 1976 African champions will launch their World Cup campaign against Iran in St Petersburg on June 15. Morocco have beaten Iran on two occasions – including one on penalties.