The last two quarter finals of the AFC Asian Cup take place out in Qatar on Saturday and by the end of the day we will know which four teams will battle it out in the semi-finals over the last week of the competition.
We have two teams who would have expected to be facing each other much deeper into the competition than this up in the opening quarter final of the day while the defending champions and hosts will look to progress in the second game.
Iran vs Japan (11.30)
The opening quarter final on Saturday looks the pick of the matches on the day as the former champions Iran meet the pre-tournament favourites Japan with the winners likely to be the favourites to win the title next weekend.
Iran came through what turned out to be a much more awkward test against Syria than it should have been, not helped by having striker Mehdi Taremi sent off. You wouldn’t have expected Iran to need penalties to overcome Syria but in their defence they did at least get the job done in the end but Taremi will miss this match which could be a blow. Japan haven’t been completely convincing in this tournament. They have met Vietnam, Iraq, Indonesia and Bahrain and haven’t kept a clean sheet in those matches and have conceded six goals. On the plus side there are goals in them and it is that angle that I like here. Syria scored against Iran, albeit from the penalty spot, as have Palestine and UAE. The defences of these two really aren’t to be relied on in this tournament and even without Taremi there is still the likes of Sardar Azmoun, Karim Ansarifard and Alireza Jahanbakhsh among others for Iran to get at Japan with. Japan have plenty of attacking talent themselves so I’m a little surprised that the goal line for this one is 2.25. That has cashed in all four Japan games in this tournament and two of the four Iran matches while we would have got half our stake back in another Iran game. I like the over here.
Sign up for a Boylesports account and bet £10 to get up to £20 in free bets! Perfect offer for this tournament! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
Qatar vs Uzbekistan (15.30)
The last of the quarter finals in the tournament sees the defending champions and host nation Qatar looking to make it back through to the semi-final when they take on the side who I had down as a dark horse before a ball was kicked in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan probably haven’t convinced me quite as much as I expected them to throughout the tournament but they are unbeaten in the event and might just be getting better the longer it goes on. Qatar have won all four of their matches in the event but the eye test would suggest they are getting worse the more they play and then there is the question over what they have played and beaten. They haven’t met anyone in the top 80 in the world yet and indeed Uzbekistan are the highest ranked side they will have faced in the competition. Uzbekistan held Australia earlier in the tournament and have a bit to offer here but I was hoping to get them a little bigger than a draw no bet line. If the earlier bet lands I might treat myself to backing Uzbekistan to qualify or something like that but in the lead up to the game there doesn’t appear to be too much in the way of value so I’ll leave this one alone.
Back Iran vs Japan – Over 2.25 goals for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with Bet365