The AFC Asian Cup continues on Tuesday when the first set of group matches come to a close as the opening games in Group F get played out in a tournament which is already gathering momentum with the big names coming to the fore.
We have another top Asian side on show on Tuesday as Saudi Arabia get their campaign underway in a group they will be expected to dominate but we have seen already that while the big teams have generally won they haven’t had things all their own way.
Thailand vs Kyrgyzstan (14.30)
The opening match in Group F on Tuesday sees the two lower ranked teams in the section meeting when Thailand go up against Kyrgyzstan in a match where you would imagine losing would be hugely catastrophic to the chances of whoever is beaten going through.
Thailand are the favourites to win this match but they have recently changed coach and are without two of their higher scorers because of injury so they are not an easy team to side with at the minute. Kyrgrzstan don’t really appear to have a focal point of their attack which is a bit of an issue and so I wouldn’t be completely surprised if these two teams cancel themselves out, especially with neither wanting to lose and pretty much put themselves out of the competition before they have got their feet into it. I’ll use this one as a watching brief.
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Saudi Arabia vs Oman (17.30)
The second match of the day on Tuesday sees Saudi Arabia looking to show that they are the best team in Group F when they take on an Oman side who will be looking to ease the pressure on their last two matches with a positive result here.
It is only 14 months ago that Saudi Arabia were beating Argentina in this part of the world and if they are in that sort of form here they should have no problems overcoming Oman. Much has changed for the Saudis since then and most of it for the better too. Their league has had an influx of overseas talent which should drive the standards up of the league and the local players within it and Roberto Mancini has taken over as manager which should be no bad thing. I expect big things from the Saudis here but I get the impression that Oman are here to tango too. Oman have won six of their last eight matches worldwide with one of the losses to the USA which probably doesn’t count here as USA would be major contenders if they were in this tournament. That form can see Oman fancying their chances in this one and with Saudi Arabia expected to be a good side in this event I think we can see some goals here. We’ve seen the big teams win in this event but apart from Australia and the hosts Qatar they have all conceded. The goal line feels a little low at 2.25 here to me.
Back Saudi Arabia vs Oman – Over 2.25 goals for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with Bet365