After coming away with a 3-0 win over China in their first AFC Phase 3 World Cup Qualifier, the Socceroos will board a plane from Doha to Hanoi and face Vietnam with their sights set on a further three points.
This match will take place on Tuesday night (AEST) in front of an empty My Dinh National Stadium and will be the first time these nations have faced off at senior international men’s level.
As you would expect the Socceroos have been installed as heavy favourites in our World Cup Qualifier betting markets, but there is still plenty of value to be found in our markets.
Read on for our match betting preview and recommended plays!
It was smooth sailing for the Socceroos in a “home” match against China, cruising to a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Awer Mabil, Martin Boyle and Mitch Duke.
That extended the Socceroos perfect run in qualifying so far to nine wins from nine matches and they will be full of confidence as they chase victory number 10.
Vietnam did not enjoy their trip to Saudi Arabia however, taking the lead in the third minute before Do Duy Manh’s red card 10 minutes after the halftime break.
Salem Al Dawsari converted from the spot and the home side never looked back, storming home to run away with a 3-1 victory.
Many expected Vietnam to be the easybeats of the group however they showed that they can capitalise on opponents that take them lightly.
Away Day Attack
If things unfold the way they usually do in these matches, expect Australia to dominate possession as Vietnam sits on the back foot, tries to frustrate their opponents and hit them on the counter.
Considering this will be played at an empty stadium, it’s not like Vietnam will have a raucous crowd behind them perhaps spurring them on to deviate from what could be an effective gameplan.
The conditions could also play a big role in how this match unfolds with both teams coming from a dry heat in the Middle East, to a hot and humid night in Hanoi.
Even if the match is played at a slower tempo than normal due to the conditions, I still like the chances of the Socceroos getting things going in attack and scoring a few goals.
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.70
In the preview of the China match, the predicted goalscorers went 1/2 with Martin Boyle scoring however Harry Souttar could not salute.
That won’t scare me off backing the big centre back in this match as his presence at set pieces is just too hard to ignore.
As for the other player (because it’s boring backing the one option in a match like this), there are a number of options which could come into play depending on how much rotation Graham Arnold opts to do.
Adam Taggart is the joint favourite in our market and should lead the line once again after 69 frustrating minutes against China.
Having drawn a blank there, I’ll back him to bounce back and get on the scoresheet in this match.
Back Adam Taggart Anytime Goalscorer @ $2.10
Back Harry Souttar Anytime Goalscorer @ $4.00
Your average Australian football fan might have a tendency to underestimate the tenacity and skills of a nation like Vietnam, whose players don’t play for Manchester United, Liverpool or Barcelona because that’s all they usually watch.
As such, they would naively think that Australia should be winning every match like this by five goals without considering the context.
Vietnam will have a point to prove after (in their minds) blowing the game in Saudi Arabia and knowing that if they want to make the 2022 World Cup, they have to do well in their home games, regardless of the opposition.
When Australia has gone to this part of the world before to take on Thailand they have been put through the ringer however Thailand is a much stronger side than Vietnam.
For all of the criticism over Arnold’s managerial ability, you can’t ignore his record just getting the wins on the board.
It might not be straightforward, Vietnam might even take an early lead, but I’ll back the Aussies to get home, even if it is a bit of a grind.
SGM: Australia to Win & Both Teams to Score @ $3.77