2019 Asian Cup Tips & Preview


The 2019 Asian Cup is an outstanding way to start off another big year of international football and our Asian Cup betting market is an extremely competitive one.

It is down to the final four and pre tournament favourites South Korea have been eliminated, as have the defending champions Australia.

Iran and Japan will face off in the first Asian Cup Semi Final while Qatar and the tournament hosts the UAE will be vying for the other spot in the final.

We will be providing analysis for every single game during the tournament and our complete 2019 Asian Cup tips can be found below.

2019 Asian Cup Final Preview

Japan Vs Qatar

Saturday 2 February, 1:00am, Zayed Sports City Stadium

Japan 1 – Qatar 3

At least one person saw this final coming, Spanish legend Xavi, doing some TV punditry took Qatar and Japan as the last two teams standing for his pre-tournament prediction.

Perhaps the biggest surprise out of all of this is just how one sided the semi-final scorelines were, with Japan winning 3-0 and Qatar topping the host nation UAE 4-0.

While Qatar have been the in form side this tournament, Japan have taken a while to find their stride but going into this decider, both teams have put together good cases as to why they will both win here.

The deciding factor here is the fact Qatar still have not conceded a goal, despite facing some good opposition in the last few games.

Japan have plenty of talent in their side, not to mention Yuya Osako coming off a brace in his last match, but the Qatari side looks more than capable of matching Japan here and are at a tempting price.

Back Qatar to Lift the Trophy @ $2.50

P.S. Xavi picked Qatar as Asian Cup Champions

2019 Asian Cup Semi Final Tips

Iran Vs Japan

Tuesday 29 January, 1:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Iran 0 – Japan 3

A match worthy of the final itself, two of Asia’s three top ranked teams face off for the right to play for the title of Champions.

For two of the continent’s most dominant sides, they have managed to avoid each other in most major tournaments, with the lone meeting since 2006 World Cup Qualifying being a 1-1 draw in a friendly three years ago.

Iran have been the best defensive side in the tournament, not conceding a goal through five matches while Japan has slowly rounded into form.

After giving up two early goals in its first game, Japan has been much more stout at the back, only conceding one goal since then against Uzbekistan.

With three of the four quarter finals being resolved by a single goal, it would not be at all surprising to see these two teams engage in a battle of wills, the result really could go either way and the market reflects that so back a low scoring contest instead.

Back Under 1.5 Goals @ $2.35

Qatar Vs UAE

Wednesday 30 January, 1:00am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

Qatar 4 – UAE 0

For the second tournament in a row, the UAE are through to the Asian Cup Semi Finals and will face local rivals Qatar in a clash that may feature more discussions than just football.

Dubbed by some the “Blockade Derby” these two countries have plenty of history on the pitch and will face off for the first time on the pitch since the Group Stage of the 2015 Asian Cup.

That clash saw the Emiratis win 4-1 but the Qataris have been very impressive all tournament, exceeding expectations and they would love nothing more than to upset their neighbours on their turf.

Qatar is the other remaining side to progress to the semis without conceding a single goal and their tally of 12 (boosted some by putting six past North Korea) makes them the highest scoring team in the 2019 edition.

The UAE are coming off the high of upsetting the defending champions Australia and the crowd will be almost, if not totally in their favour as their fans would love to see them lift the trophy on home soil.

What is a concern however is just who can play for them with their win over Australia coming at a big cost with some key players under an injury cloud.

Those health concerns are just too much to feel confident about backing the UAE here and instead the Qataris will advance to the final.

Back Qatar to Win @ 2.15

2019 Asian Cup Quarter Final Tips

Vietnam Vs Japan

Friday 25 January, 12:00am, Al Maktoum Stadium

Vietnam 0 – Japan 1

The Cinderella story of the Asian Cup continues with the Vietnamese side taking on Japan with a spot in the semi-final on the cards.

It’s hard not to be impressed with the way this side got through its Round of 16 clash with a Jordan team that had been one of the form sides of the competition so far.

If they do go down to Japan it will not be for a lack of effort and if their opponents are in any way off their game, they might just be able to spring an upset.

Japan’s path to the quarter final, on paper, has followed the script, winning all four of their games but on closer examination it has not been completely smooth.

They have won every game by just one goal which, depending on how you want to look at it is either impressive or concerning from a tournament favourite.

Japan to win is at way too short of a price to back in here so you’ll have to look at the doubles market for some value here.

Back Japan to Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ $1.87

China Vs Iran

Friday 25 January, 3:00am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

China 0 – Iran 3

Two sides with plenty of footballing history face off in the second Asian Cup Quarter Final.

It will be the 25th meeting between the two sides and recent history suggests that Iran will be very tough to beat.

These sides were in the same group for World Cup qualifying with Iran picking up a draw at home in September 2016 before winning at home in March 2017.

Iran has won four of the last six meetings between these sides and are still yet to concede a goal in the entire tournament.

Back Iran to Win to Nil @ $1.83

South Korea Vs Qatar

Saturday 26 January, 12:00am, Zayed Sports City Stadium

South Korea 0 – Qatar 1

Both sides face a quick turnaround ahead of their quarter final especially the South Koreans who were taken to extra time by a defiant Bahraini team.

Qatar battled against Iraq but were able to advance in 90 mintues while keeping another opponent scoreless, their fourth straight clean sheet this tournament.

The South Koreans gave up their first goal of the tournament against Bahrain and have struggled to score throughout the tournament with just six goals in the four matches.

These sides have been frequent opponents in World Cup Qualifying, being drawn in the same group during 2014 and 2018 qualification.

Recent results have favoured South Korea, winning three of the last four but Qatar did win their last meeting in Doha two years ago.

South Korea are a better side but the Qataris are in better form so this is a hard game to pick and it could very easily go to extra time.

Back the Draw @ $3.20

UAE Vs Australia

Saturday 26 January, 3:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

UAE 1 – Australia 0

Four years ago Australia and the UAE met in the knockout phase of the Asian Cup and a home side driven by a wave of expectation wanted to put on a show for their fans.

This time the sides are facing off with the scenarios reversed, now Australia will be looking to play the spoiler role after knocking the UAE out in the Semi Final in 2015.

Working in their favour as well is the fact Australia has not lost to the UAE in five meetings and has not conceded a goal in any of those clashes, including two World Cup Qualifiers.

The Socceroos struggled to break down a stubborn Uzbekistan team in their last match, needing penalties to advance but the UAE will likely look to attack and are not as defensively disciplined.

You have to like the potential of the Socceroos to find a goal through Awer Mabil or Matthew Leckie and that should be the difference between the two sides.

Back Australia to Win (90 Minutes) @ $1.87


2019 Asian Cup Round Of 16 Tips

Jordan Vs Vietnam

Sunday 20 January, 10:00pm, Al Maktoum Stadium

Jordan 1 (2) – Vietnam 1 (4) *Penalties*

The Round of 16 gets underway with the surprise Group B winners Jordan taking on Vietnam, who advanced after finishing third in Group D.

The Vietnamese side will be looking to back up a 2-0 win in their last game over Yemen while the Jordanians were able to hold out for a 0-0 draw against Palestine

Having kept clean sheets in all three group games, the Jordanians will be eager to extend that run into the knockout phase.

If you want a bit of extra value a Jordan win to nil is certainly worth looking into but for that price on the 90 minutes result that’s more than enough value here.

Back Jordan to Win in 90 Minutes @ $1.83

Thailand Vs China

Monday 21 January, 1:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Thailand 1 – China 2

Thailand’s turnaround after their opening match belting is nothing short of phenomenal.

After going down to India 4-1, you could forgive the Thai side for thinking their tournament was over and done with but defeating Bahrain and drawing with the UAE in their other two matches was enough to catapult them up to second spot in Group A.

That booked them a date with China, runners up in Group B after losing their final game 2-0 to South Korea.

These sides faced off in June in a friendly with the Chinese side winning 2-0 however this game looks like it may have a few more goals in it.

Back China to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $4.60

Iran Vs Oman

Monday 21 January, 4:00am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

One of the higher scoring teams in the Group Stage, Iran will be looking to continue their run in the knockout phase.

Add in a defence that has not conceded a goal this tournament and you know why the Iranians are one of the favourites to win the whole thing.

Oman made it through to the knockout stages finishing second in Group F on the basis of a final day win and come into this game on the shortest possible rest.

There is a clear gulf in class between these sides and Iran should make short work of it.

Back Iran to Win to Nil @ $1.87

Iran Vs Oman

Monday 21 January, 4:00am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

Iran 2 – Oman 0

With Saudi Arabia finishing as surprise runners up in Group E, this heavyweight clash against Japan is coming a little bit earlier than some might have expected.

The question about the Blue Samurai from the group stage is simple, is Japan simply playing itself into form or is the team just not quite as good as some might have thought?

In its first two games, Japan were well below par as a new generation of players bedded into the side but they were able to come away with wins in all three games.

The UAE were the side to knock Japan out in 2015, winning in penalties and it would not be at all surprising to see this game go into extra time once again.

Back the Draw (90 Minutes) @ $3.40

Japan Vs Saudi Arabia

Monday 21 January, 10:00pm, Sharjah Stadium

Japan 1 – Saudi Arabia 0

With Saudi Arabia finishing as surprise runners up in Group E, this heavyweight clash against Japan is coming a little bit earlier than some might have expected.

The question about the Blue Samurai from the group stage is simple, is Japan simply playing itself into form or is the team just not quite as good as some might have thought?

In its first two games, Japan were well below par as a new generation of players bedded into the side but they were able to come away with wins in all three games.

The UAE were the side to knock Japan out in 2015, winning in penalties and it would not be at all surprising to see this game go into extra time once again.

Back the Draw (90 Minutes) @ $3.40

Australia Vs Uzbekistan

Tuesday 21 January, 1:00am, Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium

Australia 0 (4) – Uzbekistan 0 (2) *Penalties*

Having ridden their luck in the final group game against Syria, the Socceroos found a way into the Round of 16 thanks to a late strike from Tom Rogic.

This will be the third time Australia has face Uzbekistan and working in the Socceroos favour is the fact they have not conceded a goal in any of those matches.

The last one came in the 2011 Semi Final when Australia ran riot winning 6-0.

Safe to say things are a little bit different for both sides since that night, although Australia would love a repeat of that scoreline.

With the return of Trent Sainsbury, the Socceroos should be a little bit more stable at the back but it’s hard to see them keeping a clean sheet considering Uzbekistan has scored in all three of its group games.

Back Australia to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $4

UAE Vs Kyrgyzstan

Tuesday 21 January, 3:00am, Zayed Sports City Stadium

UAE 3 – Kyrgyzstan 2 *AET*

It was more through attrition than style but the UAE managed to top Group A at their home tournament.

One win and two draws was enough to win the tightest group in the tournament and their tally of four goals was the second fewest of any group winner.

Kyrgyzstan also scored four goals but also conceding four  was a big reason why they needed the third placed lottery to advance.

This game won’t be high scoring and there is not enough value in the head to head market, so look for a booster in the doubles area and remember that all three of the UAE’s matches had two or fewer goals.

Back the UAE to Win and Under 2.5 Goals @ $3.00

South Korea Vs Bahrain

Wednesday 22 January, 1:00am, Rashid Stadium

South Korea 2 – Bahrain 1

Bahrain made it through to the knockout stages in the most dramatic of circumstances, a 91st minute penalty in their final group game gave them a vital win.

Having only scored two goals during group play, Bahrain at least has the best goals to points ratio in the entire tournament.

Of course that will not help them out as they face a South Korean side that has only just had its best player join the team.

Son will be far and away the best player on the pitch and play a decisive role in what should be a comfortable South Korean victory.

Back South Korea to Win Both Halves @ $3.20

Qatar Vs Iraq

Wednesday 22 January, 4:00am, Al Nahyan Stadium

Qatar 1 – Iraq 0

After completing a perfect group stage, the highest scoring team in the competition Qatar takes on an Iraqi side yet to suffer defeat themselves.

This will be the first competitive meeting between these sides since 2008 when they faced off in World Cup Qualifying.

Since then there have been a handful of friendlies including two in the past two years which saw one win each.

It’s hard not to consider Qatar’s recent form though and give them the edge in this one.

Back Qatar to Win (90 Minutes) @ $2.30



United Arab Emirates Vs Bahrain

Sunday 6 January, 3:00am, Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium

UAE 1 – Bahrain 1

After all of the build up the tournament hosts prepare to kick things off against local rivals Bahrain.

These sides faced off in the 2015 Asian Cup with the UAE emerging as 1-0 winners, part of a five game winning streak against Bahrain.

In these opening matches, the host is expected to win and with the UAE’s recent form there is no reason to expect them to drop this one.

Back the UAE to Win @ $1.57

Australia Vs Jordan

Sunday 6 January, 10:00pm, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Australia – Jordan 1

The Champions of Asia kick start their title defence with a match against a Jordanian side that will not be the easybeats some might think (attention: Chris Sutton).

Injuries have ravaged the Socceroos squad with Graham Arnold forced to omit some of his best and most promising players ahead of the tournament.

While the side still appears set with the back five, the question is whether Arnold’s attacking philosophy will be found out against a side more than happy to take the game to the Socceroos.

With the Socceroos still coming together it would not be at all surprising if the side took a while to gel as a unit and they may have to chase down an early Jordan goal.

Back Australia to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $3.50

Thailand Vs India

Monday 7 January, 12:30am, Al Nahyan Stadium

Thailand 1 – India 4

For the first time since 1988, Thailand and India will face off in the Asian Cup with the Thai side opening as short priced favourites.

Having seen the troubles they caused Australia first hand, you have to fancy them to come away with all three points in this match.

India is expected to be the easybeats of Group B and their tournament should get off to a rough start here, at least they have the cricket.

Back Thailand to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.70

Syria Vs Palestine

Monday 7 January, 3:00am, Sharjah Stadium

Syria 0 – Palestine 0

The second match in Group B features a Syrian side that was inches away from a World Cup playoff looking to continue its good run through Asia.

It last played Palestine in 2012, losing that match 2-1, their only ever loss to that team.

Syria look to be over the odds in the early market and if their qualifying form carries over they look to be a good bet in their tournament opener.

Back Syria to Win @ $1.67

China Vs Kyrgyzstan

Monday 7 January, 10:00pm, Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium

China 2 – Kyrgyzstan 1

Group C gets underway with China and Krygyzstan facing off in a competitive fixture for the first time ever.

China has won all three friendlies between the two nations but brings some inconsistent form into the tournament, with a win and three draws from its last five games.

Kyrgyzstan won its last match 1-0 over Jordan but when the lights go on in the tournament you have to like the favourite China to hit the accelerator and start off with all three points.

Monday night’s games don’t feature a lot of good value options so if you do like all three favourites, perhaps consider a multi instead of a single game play.

Back China to Win @ $1.40

Korea Republic Vs Philippines

Tuesday 8 January, 12:30am, Al Maktoum Stadium

South Korea 1 – Philippines 0

This one… well let’s be honest, anything other than a huge South Korean win would be a surprise.

From a betting perspective, the question is how many goals will South Korea score with Son still playing for Tottenham?

In qualifying the Philippines did a good job limiting the damage but South Korea is far and away the best side they will face, expect a few goals here.

Back South Korea to Score Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.50

Iran Vs Yemen

Tuesday 8 January, 3:00am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

Iran 5 – Yemen 0

Iran has not lost a match since the World Cup when they went down to Spain, and if they do carry over their recent form they will be in line for a statement win here.

Since their tournament exit in Russia they have played and beaten Uzbekistan, Bolivia and Trinidad and Tobago while drawing with Venezuela, an eclectic mix of opponents.

Iran beat Yemen in their last meeting in 2012 by a score of 2-1 and a bigger winning margin looks to be on the cards here.

Once again you will need to go searching for a value play but there are options in the market.

Back Iran to Win Both Halves @ $1.91

Iraq Vs Vietnam

Wednesday 9 January, 12:30am, Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium

Iraq 3 – Vietnam 2

This is the second time Iraq and Vietnam have been drawn together in the Asian Cup with the Iraqi’s winning the lone meeting in this tournament on their way to their 2007 triumph.

They also found themselves in the same group for World Cup Qualifying with a 1-1 in Vietnam before Iraq won their home match in Tehran.

Iraq has been installed as favourites and they should be able to take it out in a low scoring match.

Back Iraq to Win and Under 3.5 Goals @ $1.80

Saudi Arabia Vs DPR Korea

Wednesday 9 January, 3:00am, Al-Rashid Stadium

Saudi Arabia 4 – DPR Korea 0

Our first look at a Saudi Arabian side with championship ambitions, taking on North Korea for the first time since the last Asian Cup.

On that occasion the Saudis won 4-1, their highest score against North Korea.

Prior to that blowout, six of the last seven meetings had featured two or fewer goals and been decided by one goal or been a draw.

North Korea will want to acquit themselves well at this tournament after group stage exits in their last three appearances.

With their toughest match up first, avoiding a huge goal differential will be key, even if they do lose this match.

Back Saudi Arabia to Win @ $1.62

Japan Vs Turkmenistan

Wednesday 9 January, 10:00pm, Al Nahyan Stadium

Japan 3 – Turkmenistan 2

If Japan was paying attention over the opening weekend of the Asian Cup, the players will know they need to be on their guard after a raft of upsets.

There will be an unknown element to their opponents with the sides facing off at senior level for the first time.

Having gone through qualifying without conceding a goal, the Japanese side will be very keen to keep that run going.

Four years ago Japan won it’s opening match of the Asian Cup 4-0 over Palestine and they should (key word: should) put up a similar result here.

They have not lost an opening match of the Asian Cup in their history, winning three of their last four.

Back Japan to Win to Nil @ $1.67

Uzbekistan Vs Oman

Thursday 10 January, 12:30am, Sharjah Stadium

Uzbekistan 2 – Oman 1

Having made it out of the group stage in each of the last four Asian Cups, the Uzbekistan side will be looking to extend that streak to five.

With these two sides very likely battling out for second spot behind Japan, picking up all three points here is vital to their chances.

Even with both sides eager for all three points, a first international draw between these sides is the play here as they opt for caution and wind up cancelling each other out.

Back the Draw @ $3.00

Qatar Vs Lebanon

Thursday 10 January, 3:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Qatar 2 – Lebanon 0

Traditionally slow starters in the Asian Cup, Qatar will be looking for its first opening match victory since its tournament debut in 1980.

Lebanon is making its second appearance at the Asian Cup and will be hoping for a softer landing than in 2000 when it was blasted off the park 4-0 by Iran.

If you had to back one side based on history though, it has to be Qatar with nine wins from 12 meetings, the majority of which have been fairly low scoring.

Back Qatar to Win @ $1.70

Bahrain Vs Thailand

Thursday 10 January, 10:00pm, Al Maktoum Stadium

Bahrain 0 – Thailand 1

A second chance at a first impression for Thailand after being thoroughly humiliated by India in their tournament opener.

Bahrain acquitted themselves well against the UAE and will perhaps feel they should be better placed than just one point.

Group A is on its head and Thailand will be desperate for its first win over Bahrain since the sides inaugural meeting in 1980.

All the numbers are against the Thai side here and Bahrain is at good value over even money so they are certainly worth backing in here.

Back Bahrain to Win @ $2.10

Jordan Vs Syria

Friday 11 January, 12:30am, Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium

Jordan 2 – Syria 0

Well then, aren’t Jordan just a phenomenal side?

You cannot help but admire the resilience shown in their defensive masterclass against Australia negating the Socceroos weight of possession.

After spending so long building up for that game, how will the side back up against Syria?

Looking at the form and the market there is a fair case for all three options in the win-draw-win market and all three options offer good value.

For a different play here though, look for a low scoring contest with one goal being the deciding margin.

Back Under 1.5 Goals @ $2.25

India Vs United Arab Emirates

Friday 11 January, 3:00am, Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium

India 0 – UAE 2

Some thought that India would be just making up the numbers in Group A but an opening round win over Thailand has them sitting on their own in first place.

Up next is a clash with tournament hosts UAE, who are going off a frustrating draw in their first game.

This will be the first meeting between these teams in eight and a half years, the last one was a 2-2 draw as a part of World Cup Qualifying.

The big question surrounding this (and every) second match is whether or not the first match was an outlier or a sign of things to come.

From a pure value perspective it is worth taking a shot on India proving their worth here and coming away with at least a point as such strong outsiders.

Back India/Draw Double Chance @ $3.40

Palestine Vs Australia

Friday 11 January, 10:00pm, Al-Rashid Stadium

Palestine 0 – Australia 3

Safe to say the Socceroos campaign got off to a less than ideal start losing to Jordan.

Injuries continue to hamper the Australian preparation with as few as16 healthy outfield players available to Graham Arnold.

The concerns over Australia’s attack proved to be legitimate in the opener against Jordan as nobody could find a way through a packed and well organised defence, something very similar to what they will face here.

Before the tournament this game was earmarked as a goal difference booster for Australia, now it is a get right game where the Australians need to produce a strong performance and build some momentum ahead of Syria.

It might not be pretty, but the three points is all that matters here.

Back Australia to Win and Under 3.5 Goals @ $1.91

Philippines Vs China

Saturday 12 January, 12:30am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

Philippines 0 – China 3

The Philippines will feel hard done by to be on the bottom of Group B after pushing South Korea for all 90 minutes in a game they were expected to be blown off the park.

China crushed the Philippines 8-1 in a friendly last June but you can expect a safety first approach from the underdogs here.

After winning their first game, the Chinese side could book a spot in the knockout phase with a win here ahead of their big clash with South Korea.

Back China to Win @ $1.53

Kyrgyzstan Vs Korea Republic

Saturday 12 January, 3:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Kyrgyzstan 0 – Korea Republic 1

In a tournament full of upsets, South Korea knows they need to play better than they did against the Philippines in this game.

A spot in the last 16 could be secured with a victory here and with just one goal, a boost to that tally could put them in great position to get the best possible draw going into the knockout stages.

This will be the first meeting between these sides and the market has South Korea at a very short price.

You will need to find a player you have confidence in to score to compliment a South Korean victory.

Back Hwang Ui-jo to Score and South Korea to Win @ $2.05

Vietnam Vs Iran

Saturday 12 January, 10:00pm, Al Nahyan Stadium

Vietnam 0 – Iran 2

Iran were nothing short of dominant in the opening match, crushing Yemen 5-0 while Vietnam went down to Iraq having pushed the 2007 champions to the last minute.

This will be the first senior international clash between these sides and Iran goes into the contest as favourites.

As we saw against Iraq, the Vietnamese side are more than capable of scoring and should find the back of the next but Iran will have the quality to confirm their place in the knockout phase with a big win.

Back Iran to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $3.20

Yemen Vs Iraq

Sunday 13 January, 12:30am, Sharjah Stadium

Yemen 0 – Iraq 3

Iraq left it late against Vietnam but managed all three points to get their tournament off to a winning start.

As a short priced favourite against Yemen, a little bit of research will be needed to find a value play in this match but there will be one out there.

If Yemen’s defending is similar to what was trotted out for its first match against Iran, then a big score could be on the cards as Iraq tries to improve its goal difference ahead of a critical final group game against Iran.

Back Iraq to Win and Over 3.5 Goals @ $3.30

Lebanon Vs Saudi Arabia

Sunday 13 January, 3:00am, Al Maktoum Stadium

Lebanon 0 – Saudi Arabia 2

DPR Korea Vs Qatar

Sunday 13 January, 10:00pm, Sheikh Khalifa Internatiinal Stadium

DPR Korea 0 – Qatar 6

Win and you’re into the knockout stages of the Asian Cup, that’s the motivation for Qatar as they go into their second group game against North Korea.

In the last 10 and a half years these sides have faced off in six friendlies and the results have been pretty evenly split with two wins each and two draws.

What does that recent history have to do with Sunday night’s match?

Not a whole lot really but it’s a fun stat anyway, Qatar will win this one, it’s just a question of by how much.

Back Qatar to Win to Nil @ $2.20

Oman Vs Japan

Monday 14 January, 12:30am, Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium

Oman 0 – Japan 1

Japan took a while to get going against Turkmenistan, needing some very late heroics to get by their opponent but pulled off a win.

Oman went down to Uzbekistan in their tournament opener and can’t afford to drop any more points if it wants to stay alive in the race for automatic qualification.

One huge problem for the Omani side, they have lost their last three straight against Japan and have not won any of the 11 meetings between the teams.

Japan’s new generation will get the job done and set themselves up to win Group F.

Back Japan to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.45

Turkmenistan Vs Uzbekistan

Monday 14 January, 3:00am, Al-Rashid Stadium

Turkmenistan 0 – Uzbekistan 4

Turkmenistan surprised many with their effort against Japan, taking the lead on a wonder goal.

Sure they didn’t hold onto that lead but the team did gain plenty of admirers for their performance.

The challenge now is backing that up against Uzbekistan, who won their first up game over Oman.

It’s a bit of an outsider bet but we are still waiting for an underdog to come through in the second round and this might just be the game where it happens.

Back the Draw @ $3.90

United Arab Emirates Vs Thailand

Tuesday 15 January, 3:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

UAE 1 – Thailand 1

Just about every outcome is in play for both sides here, the tournament hosts could win the group or find themselves needing to get by as one of the best third placed teams.

Thailand’s players responded to their manager change by taking care of business in their second match and getting their tournament back on track.

A win here and a draw or Bahraini win in the other match could actually send Thailand to the top of the group, while a loss puts them in position to be potentially eliminated right now.

The UAE can finish anywhere from first to third in the group and, with four points, willgo through no matter where they finish, but top spot would be preferable.

A draw at least takes the chances of Thailand and/or Bahrain overtaking the UAE out of the equation, but the hosts will want to do it all themselves.

Back the UAE to Win @ $1.80

India Vs Bahrain

Tuesday 15 January, 3:00am, Sharjah Stadium

India 0 – Bahrain 1

Both of these sides know that, regardless of the result in the other Group A match, they will go through to the knockouts with a win.

India would love to replicated the form of their opening game when they destroyed Thailand while Bahrain showed they can hold their own with a draw in the opening match.

With a draw being just enough for India, that looks like a result they will be happy to take.

Back a Drawn Match and Both Teams to Score @ $4.75

Australia Vs Syria

Wednesday 16 January, 12:30am, Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium

Australia 3 – Syria 2

Things are back on track for the Socceroos after Friday night’s win, although top spot in Group B is now out of reach.

Picking up a point against Syria will secure second place and progression to the knockout phase regardless of other results.

That might not be as straightforward as the market suggests, we all remember Australia struggling against Syria in a World Cup Playoff in October 2017.

In that tie, the Syrians were a few centimetres away from pulling off a huge upset and know they have what it takes to trouble Australia.

This will be another scrappy battle similar to the Jordan game but the Socceroos should be able to find a route to goal here as they come away with all three points, even if it is necessary to chase the game.

Back Australia to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.45

Palestine Vs Jordan

Wednesday 16 January, 12:30am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

Palestine 0 – Jordan 0

Jordan know they will be going through to the knockout phase as Group B winners but finishing with three wins from three games is an added motivator going into this game.

Palestine is dreaming of an unlikely progression, having started the tournament at $51 to win Group B and $251 to win the tournament, they have embraced their status as outsiders.

Based on the results from the other groups, finishing with four points will be more than enough to send them through even if they do finish in third.

With one eye on the knockout phase don’t be surprised if Jordan doesn’t go all out in this game and gets held to a draw.

Back the Draw @ $3.00

Korea Republic Vs China

Thursday 17 January, 12:30am, Al Nahyan Stadium

Korea Republic 2 – China 0

Top spot in Group C is on the line when these sides face off, both know they will be playing at least one more game but the question is against who.

Winning the group secures a match against a third placed team from Group A, B or F, while the runner up will face the runner up from Group A.

The last meeting ended 2-2 and a similar result would make China the unlikely winners of the group by virtue of goal difference.

South Korea will feel as though they can beat any team in the competition with the imminent arrival of Son Heung-Min after missing the first two games.

It is unclear how much South Korea’s star player will be involved in this one but the 2015 runners up are worth backing in here.

Back South Korea to Win @ $1.60

Kyrgyzstan Vs Philippines

Thursday 17 January, 12:30am, Al-Rashid Stadium

Kyrgyzstan 3 – Philippines 1

The other game in Group C, can Kyrgyzstan or the Philippines secure enough points to advance as one of the best third placed teams?

By this stage the sides will know what is needed to overtake whoever finishes third in Groups A and B, although finishing with three points should be enough to at least be in the mix, particularly with goal difference the way it is.

These sides have met twice in friendlies in the last two and a half years with the Philippines winning both encounters.

What we do know is that between them, these sides have scored a grand total of one goal this tournament so the first team to score might just win it.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $1.73

Iran Vs Iraq

Thursday 17 January, 3:00am, Al Maktoum Stadium

Iran 0 – Iraq 0

If this game is anything like the classic between these sides from 2015, we are in for a huge treat as these sides both chase top spot in Group D.

These sides have met in a friendly since then with Iraq winning 1-0, but only one side is a legitimate contender for the whole tournament.

Whoever finishes second will face the winner of Group E, likely Saudi Arabia or possibly Qatar so there is a big motivation for both sides to finish on top here.

Back Iran to Win @ $1.80

Vietnam Vs Yemen

Thursday 17 January, 3:00am, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Vietnam 2 – Yemen 0

Neither side is able to overtake Iran and Iraq for an automatic spot in the Round of 16, both are mathematically still alive.

Yemen needs a win and to claw back some of the -8 goal difference they have amassed so far.

A win by any margin might just be good enough for Vietnam with four of the six third placed teams going into the final round of games on zero points.

By the time they kick off they will know who is in third place from the top three groups and who will advance.

With no goals scored so far it is hard to see where Yemen’s goals will come from and Vietnam should be able to win and possibly even get themselves into a neutral or positive goal difference.

Back Vietnam to Win @ $1.70

Japan Vs Uzbekistan

Friday 18 January, 12:30am, Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium

Japan 2 – Uzbekistan 1

Just like in three of the other groups, Uzbekistan and Japan are both off to the Round of 16 but have to find out who their next opponent will be based on seeding.

Things are a little bit different for both sides compared to the last time they met in the Asian Cup in 2000, a match Japan won by a whopping 8-1 scoreline.

This game is going to be a lot closer than that and a match with defending champions Australia awaits the loser (or Japan if it finishes as a draw).

For the winner, a more favourable outcome (if only slightly) is on the cards with the runner up of Qatar and Saudi Arabia awaiting the Group winner.

Japan haven’t looked too good so far while Uzbekistan were ruthless beating Turkmenistan but you have to give Japan the benefit of the doubt that they are rounding into form.

Back Japan to Win @ $1.67

Oman Vs Turkmenistan

Friday 18 January, 12:30am, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium

Oman 3 – Turkmenistan 1

By the time this game kicks off, both Oman and Turkmenistan will know exactly what the permutations are to qualify as one of the third place teams.

Oman has shown plenty of fight going down by one goal in both of its matches but one solitary goal is a cause for concern, especially when you consider Turkmenistan have scored twice.

Limiting the damage on the back end gives Oman the comfort of a draw being enough to finish third in the group and depending on other results, a draw might get them into the knockouts.

That being said Oman are the better side and should win this one comfortably.

Back Oman to Win Both Halves @ $3.20

Saudi Arabia Vs Qatar

Friday 18 January, 3:00am, Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium

Saudi Arabia 0 – Qatar 2

Fresh off a 6-0 thumping of North Korea, Qatar knows a draw will secure top spot in Group E and consign the favourites Saudi Arabia to second spot.

This will be the first meeting between these sides since the Gulf Cup in 2014 and recent history has favoured the Qataris with two wins and three draws in the last decade.

Overall this tournament has not seen too many draws but we could be in for a rare one here as Qatar look to pull off a big upset and shake things up going into the Round of 16.

Back the Draw @ $3.10

Lebanon Vs DPR Korea

Friday 18 January, 3:00am, Sharjah Stadium

Lebanon 4 – DPR Korea 1

With a -10 goal difference going into this game, safe to say North Korea need something resembling a miracle to get out of Group E.

With how the team looked in its 6-0 hammering from Qatar, another loss in this game seems incredibly likely.

Lebanon will need to score its first goal of the tournament if it wants to have any hope of getting out of the group but an early one might kick start an avalanche that will turn around its -4 goal difference and give them a chance to get back to at least evens.

Back Lebanon to Win to Nil @ $2.88