South Korea welcome the visitors Philippines in the Asian Cup. The match will be held on Monday, January 7th, at the Al Maktoum Stadium (Dubai).
The Asian Cup is quite a prestigious event in the football world. The South Korean team are regularly considered one of the championship favorite. The tournament is not held at the best time, as there are issues with the best players’ selection to national teams. The European clubs are not very willing to delegate their performers for a rather long competition, as the top leagues are presently just in the middle. Well, it is yet not clear if Song Heung-min from Tottenham Hotspur is going to defend the national team colors. Yet on December, 1st, he still played against Cardiff City and scored there… Even without this guy, the hosts feature a very solid young team. Everybody сould observe this during the recent World Cup – though the Koreans did not progress from the group, they looked very confident throughout the matches. Mind that their opponents’ class was very different from the Asian Cup competitors’ one. So, the Korean team should easily succeed at the first stages!
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Philippines are one of many national teams who compete in this prestigious competition due to the increased spots in the Asian Cup (the number changed from 16 to 24). The tournament counts enough ‘passenger’ teams like this, we should admit. Philippines are very good at basketball and are among the strongest players on the continent, their football performance, however, leaves much to be desired. In December, the guests held a series of sparrings against the Vietnamese national team, being far from highflying in the Asian league, and their record is not promising – Philippines suffered 3 losses in 3 matches. That said, Vietnam cannot be even called a middle-class team. The group wherein Korea and Philippines compete also features Kyrgyzstan and China. Thus, the Philippine players need to count on the matches with these two opponents. As for the coming clash, their task should be to play decently and avoid a hammering.
There is a gulf in the level of the Monday afternoon match opponents. Even if the Korean team do not manage to bring their strongest performers to Dubai, they still should feel on the high when meeting the rivals like Philippines. We’ll go for a bet on the South Korea’s win with a -2.5 handicap.
Prediction for the match: South Korea to win with a -2.5 handicap.