The Socceroos Asian Cup defence begins on the 6th of January when Graeme Arnold’s side takes on Jordan. Australia are currently the 4th favourite to win the tournament at $8.50 although based on what we have seen of the Socceroos at the World Cup and in the matches since, they should progress easily through the group stage.
The Wolf takes a look at all the action from Dubai as they prepare to defend their 2015 Asian Cup title.
|MATCH/TIME (AEST)||FOOTBALL BEST BETS|
|AUSTRALIA v JORDAN|
HAZZA BIN ZAYED STADIUM SUN 6 JAN 1000PM
Goals over 2.5 ($1.83)
Match winner/BTTS – Australia/No ($1.93)
AUSTRALIA (LWDWW) ($1.31) v JORDAN (DLWDL) ($8.60)
What do we know about Jordan?
The biggest variable in this game is Jordan because no one seems to know much about them. The Wolf knows that they have played some quality opposition in 2018, facing World Cup finalists Croatia (losing 2-1) without Luka Modric and Australia’s group C opponent Denmark (3-2) who were without Christian Eriksen.
The key players up front Musa Al-Taamari and Odal Khadr have a tough job ahead of them to score against a defence that the Wolf thinks could complete a shutout during the group stage. PSV Eindhoven’s Trent Sainsbury has featured in the Champions League and with Mat Ryan between the goals they have a level of experience significantly above most Asian Cup teams.
The Wolf watched Jordan’s recent friendly against India which they won 1-2 at the King Abdullah International Stadium. Abdullah Abu Zema’s side certainly have some speed down the wings and creativity. Goalkeeper Amer Shafi scored a goal from the other side of the pitch but most importantly they showed they could put together a good passage of play when Ihsan Haddad scored their second.
What did the match against Oman tell us about the Socceroos?
The Socceroos 5-0 win over Oman last week was very positive although Pim Verbeek’s side offered very little resistance and it was essentially a glorified training exercised. Some of the defensive mistakes from Oman were pretty pedestrian and we expect Jordan to be at least a little more structured down back.
Chris Ikonomidis is in great form this season for Perth Glory in the A-League and must be pushing for a spot in the starting lineup after his performance against Oman. The Wolf thinks he is excellent value to score anytime in this match at $2.56.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Wolf is confident that Australia will progress easily through their group and that their first big test will come in the elimination rounds where they could face Japan.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
BEST BETS: Australia ($1.31), Goals over 2.5 ($1.83), Match winner/BTTS – Australia/No ($1.93)