The international break is upon us once again in the football and the latest round of matches in qualification for next year’s World Cup in Russia will take place. Today I’m going to be looking at matches in Asia, with both qualifying groups finely poised, and give you my World Cup tips ahead of Thursday’s games.
AFC Group A: World Cup tips and analysis
At the half way point in qualification there are three clear leaders for the two qualification spots in Group A. Iran lead the group with 11 points, while South Korea lie one point behind in second and Uzbekistan in third place with 9.
Only two teams qualify automatically for the World Cup finals with the third placed team having to fight out a play-off round and then an intercontinental playoff to make it – so all three teams know that they have a fight on their hands.
Leaders Iran travel to Qatar, who lie in 5th place in the group. Iran have already beaten Qatar 2-0 in Tehran and will be looking to complete the double across the Persian gulf. After losing their first three games Qatar have won one and drawn one but they have only managed three goals in qualifying. Iran have only scored four times themselves but they have yet to concede. Therefore my world cup tips for this one are for under 2.5 goals at 1.39.
In comparison despite the riches of the Chinese Super League the real standout players in the Chinese squad are old stagers Zheng Zhi and Gao Lin (both of Guangzhou Evergrande) along with young Vitesse Arnhem striker Zhang Yuning.
Despite the long trip for many of South Korea’s players I think this should be a comfortable away win and my World Cup tips for this one are South Korea to win at 2.18.
The third game of the group is probably the hardest to call. Syria take on Uzbekistan on neutral ground in Malaysia due to the ongoing conflict at home. Syria have drawn both of their group games in Malaysia 0-0 and they face an Uzbek side who have only failed to score in one game. I would expect the game to be tight again but maybe Uzbekistan to win and at 1.82 the bookies agree with me.
My name is ProTipsterDan and I write the football tips and content for the global blog. To see who I’m backing at the moment register with ProTipster.com and follow me right here.
Group B World Cup tips and analysis
Group B is even tighter than Group A, with four teams very much in the hunt at the halfway point. Saudi Arabia and Japan hold the top spots in the group, but are only a point ahead of Australia and UAE in third and fourth respectively.
The pick of the games in this group is probably UAE v Japan, with both teams very much in the hunt. The reverse fixture saw UAE beat Japan 2-1 in Saitama but a tight home defeat to Australia and a heavy away defeat in Jeddah has saw UAE in danger of getting nothing from this group. The Japanese are undefeated in two matches away from home and will be to make it three.
Two of the top scorers in this round will be in action in this game. Hertha Berlin’s Japanese forward Genki Haraguchi along with experienced UAE forward Ahmed Khalil have scored four times apiece and as such my world cup tips for this game is over 2.5 goals at 2.08.
Iraq face Australia on neutral territory in Tehran having only won one game of their first five, a 4-0 mauling of Thailand. Australia on the other hand are unbeaten but have drawn their last three games to leave them third in the group.
I think Australia will do it and am backing them as my World Cup tips at 1.70 to turn over Iraq.
The final game of the group sees Saudi Arabia travel to group whipping boys Thailand. Thailand have already conceded 12 goals in the group having picked up a solitary point in a surprising draw with Australia which featured three penalties. Even though their confidence will have been given a boost by that result I’m expecting Saudi to win and am making them my world cup tips at 1.90.
World Cup Tips and ProTipster
These are my tips – now show me yours! Posting tips and adding coupons on ProTipster isn’t just about fun – it can earn you money too. Check out how much is on offer today on this page, and get posting!