China vs Uzbekistan
Competition: Asia World Cup Qualifying
Date: 31 August 2017
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
China are sitting at the bottom of the table with just half the points of their opponents, but interestingly, they still have a super slim hope of finishing third, and Marcello Lippi told his players and the Press that they must fight on, until all hope is lost. China’s six points mean that to reach Uzbekistan’s 12 they need to win both their remaining matches, and Uzbekistan to lose at home to South Korea next week. If all that are not difficult enough, China also need Syria and Qatar both to stay below 12 points, a combination of results that looks almost impossible. According to reports, Lippi will keep his job even if China fail in these qualifiers, which is the most-most probable. He is reported to be enjoying the trust of the Chinese Football Association to lead the team in the 2019 Asian Cup.
In a group with Iran and South Korea, few gave chances to Uzbekistan to finish in the top two, but here they are, two matches before the end, holding their fate into their own hands. Regardless of what South Korea do against Iran, Uzbekistan depend on themselves. Currently they are just one point behind South Korea. They are hosting them next week, so what they want is to be within a three-point distance after their game in China. If they finish third, they will have to play against the third of the other group, which can be any one of Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, even the UAE. No matter whom they face there, they will be the underdogs, and even if they succeed, they will still need to go through intercontinental playoffs against a CONCACAF team.
Previous 5 matches:
Syria vs China 2-2
China vs Philippines 8-1
Iran vs China 1-0
China vs South Korea 1-0
China vs Croatia 1-1
Uzbekistan vs Kyrgyzstan 5-0
Iran vs Uzbekistan 2-0
Uzbekistan vs Thailand 2-0
Uzbekistan vs Qatar 1-0
Syria vs Uzbekistan 1-0
China’s next game is on Tuesday at Qatar. Same day, Uzbekistan will be hosting South Korea.
China vs Uzbekistan: Head to head Stats
China have hosted Uzbekistan five times in the past, winning three and losing two matches. Nine goals for the Chinese and seven for Uzbekistan in those five games.
China vs Uzbekistan: Prediction
Two and a half months ago, China were outsiders in their game against Syria in Malaysia, but I backed them to earn at least a draw, and not only they did, but they went very close to winning that game. This time, I’m… renewing my trust in them, not just not to lose, but actually to win the game.
China vs Uzbekistan: Betting Tips
China’s win pays 2.50, definitely a risk, but one I feel is worth taking, not only because they have been looking improved lately, but also because Uzbekistan have been rather poor away from home, beating Qatar, but losing to Korea, Iran, even Syria, in Malaysia.
More AFC World Cup Qualifying betting tips and match previews: