Syria could make history when they host Australia in an Asian World Cup qualifying play-off encounter over two legs.
The war-torn nation are playing their home games at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malaysia due to conflict in the country, and a stunning run of results saw them finish third in Group A behind Iran and South Korea.
Australia, meanwhile, have their away form to blame for finishing third in Group B, with the Socceroos losing three out of their five away games.
A famous victory to take Down Under for Syria is priced at 7/2 (4.50) on bet365, who offer UK-based customers the chance to watch and bet on this game, whilst Australia are favourites at 5/6 (1.83) and the draw is 12/5 (3.40). In order to tune into the action live, players will need a funded bet365 account or have had a bet in the previous 24 hours.
These two sides have never met before, even since the Aussies’ move to Asian qualification in 2006, so it will be an occasion of many firsts on Thursday.
Syria lost just once at home during the qualifiers – 3-0 to Japan – and kept three clean sheets in their five such games in the most recent stage of qualifying, whilst netting six times; they can be backed at 3/1 (4.0) to keep Australia at bay here.
The visitors, for their part, won only once away from home in their five games on the road and conceded nine times whilst scoring six – form that cost them an automatic place in Russia next summer.
Therefore, value lies in goals, or rather in backing a lack of them; both teams to score is available at 19/20 (1.95), but given Australia’s form combined with Syria's mean defence at home, this is far from certain.
Instead, backing either two or three match goals at 20/21 (1.95) could prove to be a profitable punt, and is a bet that would have landed in the last two of both teams’ competitive matches.
The aggregate winner of this tie faces the fourth-placed team in North American qualifying - currently the USA - over two further legs, with the winner then booking their place in the World Cup finals.