History could be in the making for Syria when they travel to the ANZ Stadium in Australia for the second leg of their World Cup play-off.
The first match, played in Malaysia, ended in a 1-1 stalemate after Omar Al Somah’s late penalty cancelled out Robbie Kruse’s opener in a match the visitors mostly dominated.
The Socceroos are looking to qualify for their fourth World Cup in a row and are 1/3 (1.33) with dabblebet to win the match in 90 minutes; Syria, meanwhile, are out at 15/2 (8.50) to continue their fairytale, and the draw is 7/2 (4.50).
With the away goals rule in place, only a 1-1 draw – priced at 17/2 (9.50) - could take the game into extra time and potentially penalties, the same route Australia took to get to the 2006 finals when they still played in Oceania.
However, Ange Postecoglou’s men will not want to settle for another draw in such a big game and risk going out on away goals or on the lottery of spot-kicks, and should have enough to see off their opponents and make it to another two-legged play-off, this time against the fourth-placed team in North American qualifying.
Australia have won 19 of their 23 home matches since moving to Asian qualification in 2006, losing just once and drawing the other three; in the final group stage of this year’s qualifiers, they won four and drew one of their five at home, netting 10 times and shipping just four goals.
Although Syria were able to get a draw in the home leg, they will have their work cut out in Sydney; the Middle Eastern nation lost three of their five away games in the final stage of qualification prior to the playoffs, scoring just three times in the process but only conceding five.
To suggest anything other than a home win would be bold, but given the lack of value in 1/3 (1.33), something else needs to be added to sweeten the deal.
The onus is on Syria to score – something they did in just two of their last five away matches - and Australia should be able to hit them on the counter attack, so for that reason, punters should look at backing the hosts to win and under 2.5 match goals at 2/1 (3.0).