Australia must beat visiting Vietnam to keep their direct qualification hopes alive while Japan plays host to China in the same group. In Group A, Iran will be determined to extend their unbeaten run on Thursday as they face visiting neighbors Iraq. Our sportsbook is offering a great range or market and props for the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Australia vs. Vietnam
Australia’s 2022 World Cup campaign is on a knife-edge. The Socceroos currently sit third in Group B on 11 points, one point behind second-place Japan and five behind leaders Saudi Arabia. Only two teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup while the third-place team in the group has to play two more knockout games.
|Australia||-2 -130||-750||3 -120o||2½ -125o |
|Vietnam||+2 Ev||+2000||3 -110u||½ +165o |
The Socceroos enter this clash as heavy favorites at -750 on the three-way moneyline according to the latest soccer odds. The last time Australia met Vietnam, they could only secure a 1-0 away victory. Now in the comforts of AAMI Park and without the traveling issues to contend with, the Socceroos will surely perform a lot better.
They are unbeaten in their previous seven home games, winning six and keeping five clean sheets. They scored at least three goals in five of their last seven clashes in front of their fans and we expect them once again to deliver. Graham Arnold is set to miss Australia’s clash against Vietnam with the coach being in isolation in Melbourne after testing positive with Covid.
They will want a perfect result against Vietnam, which has lost all six of its World Cup qualifying fixtures. The Golden Star Warriors have failed to score against lower quality opposition in their last two away trips and will face a similar fate on their trip to Australia. We expect an easy home win with Australia having enough to cover the spread and maintain the pressure on the top spots.
Pick: Australia -2 goals (-110)
Japan vs. China
After six games of the third round of qualifying, Japan sits in the automatic qualification spot, albeit with just a one-point lead over Australia. The hosts have looked consistent, winning four of their six games despite kicking off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Oman.
Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino will likely lead the attacking line, with the likes of Yuto Nagatomo and Hiroki Sakai expected to command the defense in the absence of captain Maya Yoshida and Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu due to injuries.
China looks unlikely to pose problems for Japan and enters this meeting on a three-match winless streak. They are not a team to be backed and we recommend you not to include them in your soccer picks and parlays. Japan won four of their last seven mutual encounters between the two teams and is unbeaten in their last 13 head-to-heads.
|Japan||-1½ -135||-465||2½ -130o||2½ +135o |
|China||+1½ +105||+1100||2½ Evu||½ +125o |
Japan is priced at -465 on the moneyline and the spread is set at -1½ goals. They should have enough to cover the spread, but we have another approach with a better price. At home, Japan is scoring goals for fun and we are ready to go with the goals market. On the road, China allowed three against Saudi Arabia and three against Australia. On top of that, they conceded at least two goals in five of their previous six road games against Japan.
Pick: Over 2½ goals at -130
Iran vs. Iraq
Iran has been on a superb run of late, winning 12 of its last 13 fixtures across all competitions. Those outings have seen them score goals for fun, including a 10-0 win over Cambodia. In sharp contrast, Iraq is focused on trying to finish third, a position that would earn them a spot in a playoff doubleheader. Having qualified for four of the last six World Cups, Iran are certainly no strangers to the big stage, and they are currently making light work of their bid to win their place in Qatar.
The reverse fixture, which was played at a neutral venue in Doha, took place on matchday two with Iran winning 3-0 courtesy of goals from Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Taremi and Ali Gholizadeh. This time, Iran will have the support of their fans with this clash being played at Azadi Stadium in Teheran.
The hosts love playing against Iraq, beating them in nine of their previous 12 mutual encounters. A home victory against Iraq will earn Iran a direct World Cup spot with three rounds to go until the end of the qualification campaign.
|Iran||-1 -145||-250||2 -135o||1½ -130o |
|Iraq||+1 +115||+800||2 +105||½ +135o |
The visitors are winless in six games, picking up just four points and scoring just three goals in the process. If you’re betting online, you should start fading them, with this match being the best opportunity for us to add some more units to our bankroll. Of course, Iran is huge favorites at -250 on the moneyline but we expect them to cover the spread and give their fans something to cheer for.