Here are the Group A fixtures and odds for AFC's qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. With all five teams separated by only three points, each match is crucial.The first match of the day for Group A will be Qatar hosting Lebanon in a game that pits two teams with identical records of 1-2-1 (W-L-T), with two goals scored and five against. A win here for either squad could see it level on points with group leader South Korea and also Iran, which plays a couple of hours after.
Qatar defeated the Lebanese in their last match by a 1-0 score in Beirut, so the pressure is on Lebanon to deliver on the road. The only game Lebanon has played away so far away was a big 3-0 loss to the South Koreans, whereas Qatar have struggled at home losing matches to Uzbekistan and South Korea.
Despite the identical records, Qatar is heavily favoured by bookies with a payout of 1.44 being issued right now at UWin.com.
The draw is being listed at a robust 4.15, which does tease a little bit. Meanwhile the Lebanon away victory is issued at 6.95 which is considerably higher than expected. Take a look at the draw result and also at a possibly low-scoring affair. The under 1.5 is listed at 2.85.
After that match is done, Iran will take on Uzbekistan in what is always a hostile stadium in Tehran.
The Iranians also played the Uzbekis in their last match and defeated them away by a 1-0 score when they snuck a goal in just as the final whistle was about to be blown. They are always one of the top teams in Asia and I expect them to win at home (1.63) to put them ahead on top of the group, though I do not anticipate a blowout.
The draw result is at 3.65 and is feasible given Uzbekistan has taken four of a possible six points from road games so far in the qualifying stage.
An unlikely Uzbek win is slated right now at 5.20 and the low scoring and tight defence of Iran (three goals combined from both teams in all four games) leads us to another under 2.5 at 1.61, while a draw/home win in the halftime/fulltime offerings is a solid possibility at 4.25.
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