2019 Asian Cup Preview – Group C

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One of the more straightforward groups in the tournament, this group looks to be South Korea’s for the taking.

With last tournaments’ runners up a short priced favourite and a clear second best team in China, the intrigue might surround the performance of the two debutants.

China

With a country that has invested so much into its football development, China will expect to be a side contending for Asian Cup honours, even if their squad is not quite at that level.

Qualification

China finished as Group C runners up in the second round of qualifying, ensuring direct passage to the Asian Cup.

Group Winner Odds

China to Win Group C – $9.00

Biggest Game

With early games against the apparent easybeats, China should go into the third game against South Korea already qualified for the Round of 16, however a win would turn the knockout phase on its head.

Asian Cup Odds

China to Win the Asian Cup – $9.00

Overall Preview

China was knocked out in the quarter finals in the 2015 Asian Cup and will see that round as the bare minimum for that side. They have shown the ability to take care of business against sides they are expected to beat, but have been inconsistent against the bigger sides. Having upset China in World Cup Qualifying, they will not expect to lose that game and their success in the knockout stages will come down to getting a favourable opponent.

 

Korea Republic (South Korea)

Runners up four years ago, South Korea is one of the co-favourites to win the Asian Cup and they start off as short priced favourites to take out Group C.

Qualification

South Korea entered qualification in the second round and made the tournament as winners of Group G with a perfect record of eight wins from eight games, with 27 goals scored and none conceded.

Group Winner Odds

South Korea to Win Group B – $1.04

Biggest Game

For South Korea, their biggest game of the tournament will hopefully come in February with the title of Asian Cup Champions on the line, however in the group stage it will be the third and final game against China who may need to take all three points out of this game.

Asian Cup Odds

South Korea to Win the Asian Cup – $5.00

Overall Preview

No ifs, ands or buts about it, South Korea is one of, if not the best side in the Asian Cup. With a soft start in the group phase they will be without their star player Son Heung-Min until the knockout stage. That could disrupt some sides but the quality in South Korea will help them take care of business early before Son propels them to the Final.

 

Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan)

FIFA’s 91st ranked nation has made the Asian Cup for the first time and the expectations for them are about what you would expect… for the 91st ranked nation making its Asian Cup debut.

Qualification

Drawn into Group B in the second round, Kyrgyzstan finished third behind Jordan and Australia having to go through the Third Round of qualifying. There they finished second behind India and booking their place in the Asian Cup.

Group Winner Odds

Kyrgyzstan to Win Group C – $67

Biggest Game

During qualifying Kyrgyzstan played tight football and set out to avoid being blown out by more fancied opponents. If that strategy continues through the group stage, they may be in with a chance to at least finish with a positive goal difference when they take on the Philippines in the last game.

Asian Cup Odds

Kyrgyzstan to Win the Asian Cup – $501

Overall Preview

The big question for Kyrgyzstan is whether or not the side will be able to avoid a massive defeat early on and be in the mix as one of the best placed third teams by the end of the tournament. While every tournament produces an underdog, a three games and out performance appears to be the most likely scenario.

 

Philippines

Another side making their Asian Cup debut, the Philippines making the Asian Cup is an achievement for the 116th ranked nation and they will be happy to be there.

Qualification

The Philippines finished third in Group H of the AFC second round and were drawn in Group F for the third phase of qualification. After finishing on top of that group they were awarded a place in the Asian Cup on their 17th attempt.

Group Winner Odds

Philippines to Win Group C – $67

Biggest Game

Their debut match against South Korea will likely not be pretty, but it will cap an impressive journey for this side to even make the tournament after so many failed campaigns.

Asian Cup Odds

Philippines to Win the Asian Cup – $501

Overall Preview

Expected to be anchored to the bottom of Group C, the Philippines would love to put a scare through anyone they can, even if they do finish with three losses from three games.