Two of 3 remaining berths for a 2018 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ could potentially be cumulative as Asiaâ€™s third subordinate turn reaches a penultimate matchday on Thursday. In Group A, Korea Republic can bind a remaining mark with a home feat opposite already-qualified IranÂ provided Uzbekistan remove or pull divided to China PR.
In Group B, meanwhile, hosts Japan and Australia are pitted in what is effectively a World Cup decider with a leader claiming a section’s initial subordinate spot. Elsewhere, Uzbekistan and Syria aim to keep their hopes alive with 3 points opposite China and Qatar respectively.
Leaders Japan can explain their sixth uninterrupted World Cup gift with a home feat opposite Australia. The Socceroosâ€™ hopes, though, perceived a large boost after second-placed Saudi Arabia mislaid 2-1 divided in United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. With a Green Falcons blank a golden possibility to settle a three-point cushion, Australia can now book their thoroughfare to Russia 2018 should they delight in Saitama.
Captain Mile Jedinak is blank due to an ongoing groin damage but, Australia can demeanour to in-form Aaron Mooy as they find to lengthen their undefeated head-to-head record. A timely first-ever subordinate win opposite a Socceroos will acquire Japan thoroughfare to Russia. Their European-based veterans sojourn a gifted core while inclusive uncapped assailant Kenyu Sugimoto could yield uninformed impetus.
The other attractions
Under new manager Shin Taeyong, Korea Republic are anticipating to not usually revenge their 1-0 detriment in Iran with a home victory, though also to finish their subordinate goal with a diversion to spare. Tottenham Hotspur assailant Son Heungmin is a pivotal male upfront while Tianjin Quanjian midfielder Kwon Kyungwon receives his initial call-up after his glorious showings in China.
Hosts China will demeanour to their on-song striker Wu Lei as they find to keep their slim hopesÂ alive with feat opposite Uzbekistan. The Shanghai SIPG goal-getter enters a diversion in inclusive form carrying scored a prop in a 4-0 subjection of holders Guangzhou Evergrande in a new AFC Champions League quarter-final. However, a visiting Uzbeks know that 3 points will say their hopes of a ancestral initial World Cup berth.
Elsewhere, Syria perform Qatar in neutral Malaysia confident of enhancing their hopes with an dissapoint opposite a 2022 World Cup hosts. However, a visitors enter a re-meeting with a mental corner carrying won a prior confront 1-0. Under new trainer Felix Sanchez, a Qataris will gangling zero to win in sequence to keep their hopes of during slightest a play-off place alive. Shouldering expectations for Qatar is artistic opening Hassan Al Haydos, while Syria’s Omar Al Somah is set for a acquire lapse after a five-year inhabitant group hiatus.
Player to watch
Captain Odil Ahmedov‘s form will be pivotal if Uzbekistan are to win their essential diversion opposite China. The Shanghai SIPG midfielder has excelled for both bar and nation of late, and is capableÂ of defence-splitting passes and scoring critical timely goals.
Did we know?
Uzbekistan have prolonged been deliberate one of Asia’s long-lived underachievers, carrying never represented a continent during a World Cup notwithstanding entrance tighten on some-more than one occasion. In fact, they have reached a final subordinate turn any time given fasten a AFC and have twice featured in a play-off, losing out to Bahrain in 2005 and Jordan in 2013.
What they pronounced
â€œI have been told that Japan have never degraded Australia in this theatre of World Cup qualifying. However, in a final assembly we showed we had a chances to kick them. Now we can take heart from a final showings and we will take a diversion opposite them and try to better them for a initial time” Vahid Halilhodzic, Japan coach
Matchday 9 fixtures
United Arab Emirates 2-1 Saudi Arabia