Rivals test the competition in pre-Asian Cup friendlies

With kick-off to the Asian Cup just nine days away a feast of football friendlies are taking place in the lead up.

While most are closed to the public, at least four will throw open their doors to football fans on January 4.

Among them a clash between Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia at Parramatta Stadium which could attract a healthy crowd.

Saudi team Al-Hilal was involved in some unsavoury scenes with Asian Champions Western Sydney Wanderers in the second leg of the ACL.

AFC Player of the Year, Nasser Al-Shamrani – who was caught headbutting and spitting at Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic – headlines the Green Falcons line-up.

Meanwhile, Bahrain will put in their final touches to their preparations with a friendly against Jordan in Ballarat and Japan take on Club World Cup surprise packets Auckland City in Cessnock.

In a fascinating pre-tournament clash Iraq face Iran at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.

In closed matches Qatar farewell 2014 with a match against Oman in Canberra tonight. Other friendlies include: UAE v Kuwait, China v Oman, Qatar v New Zealand, Palestine v Johor, Japan v Lambton Jaffas, Uzbekistan v Johor and Iraq v Sydney Olympic.

The friendlies have already thrown up some interesting results with under pressure Saudi Arabia at the wrong end of a 4-1 battering by Bahrain at Simonds Stadium in Geelong on Tuesday night.

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