World Cup 2018 AFC qualifying betting (September 5): Australia v Thailand

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Updated: September 4, 2017

16tiwwc18logoFIFA World Cup qualifying – AFC Group B betting: Australia (4-0-5, 16 pts) v Thailand (0-2-7, 2 pts)
Where: AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia
When: Tuesday, September 3, 8pm (AEDT)
Prices: Australia $1.05, Australia $34.00, DRAW $13.00

Confirmed betting: Thailand +3/hcp (two units @ $2.30)

TIW says: A goal either side of half-time delivered Japan a predictable 2-0 win over Australia in their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Saitama last Tuesday night. Takuma Asano and Yosuke Ideguchi scored the goals for the hosts as they guaranteed their spot at next year’s World Cup in Russia. Australia handled the ball effectively in the back two-thirds but rarely threatened the Japanese goal in an anaemic performance. The Socceroos were without star midfielder Aaron Mooy (pictured below) through illness, while Tomi Juric could only start on the bench due to an injury which kept him from training all week.

It was as bad a performance that the Socceroos have turned in for some time, and again confirmed that when it counts, coach Ange Postecoglou lacks both the tactical nous and the talent for Australia to make much of a mark on the global stage. Yes, their job will be easier against winless Group B cellar dwellers Thailand but the Socceroos no longer control the ability to qualify directly for the 2018 World Cup finals. Japan lead the group on 20 points, followed by Saudi Arabia and Australia on 16 points. The top teams progress while the third-placed teams in both AFC groups enter a home-and-away playoff. The winner of that playoff will then face a cut-throat intercontinental showdown for the chance to play in Russia.

 

In an incredible twist, the Saudis host Japan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (AET), holding a goal difference advantage of two over Australia. If both teams win, Australia must win by at least three clear goals more than the Saudis to progress. But their goal becomes much easier should Saudi Arabia draw or lose against Japan. Eugene Galekovic has been called in to the Socceroos, replacing Adam Federici who has withdrawn from the squad due to injury. New Thailand coach, Milovan Rajevac, has made a promising start, lifting the Kings Cup in July, to go with the AFF Championship crown they won last year.

Rajevac has overhauled the centre of his defence, handing Chalermpong Kerdkaew of Nakhon Ratchasima his international debut at 30, and pairing him with Buriram’s Pansa Hemviboon (another latecomer to the national scene at 27). Thailand, who are without the suspended Thitiphan Puangjan, have found life in the third round of qualifying tough, but their 2-2 draw with Australia in Bangkok last November can be considered one of the high points in a campaign that has yielded just two points. A three-goal margin seems a big ask for Australia given their current form, and the War Elephants will be only too happy to play a spoiler role against a side despised by the rest of the Asian confederation.

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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