There are 9 Asian Cup Qualifiers being played tomorrow, and 2 more teams will punch their ticket to Australia 2015. The winner of the 2015 Asian Cup will represent the AFC in the 2017 Confederations Cup. If things shake out as we expect, (and let’s be honest, when have we predicted anything incorrectly), we think both Iraq and China advance despite playing against each other in Dubai. An Iraq win will send them through, while a win or draw will be enough for China.
Nobody else in contention for 3rd place has a great chance of winning their match other than Malaysia. Hong Kong and maybe Lebanon could also find some points, but it will be a tough go of it on the road. Malaysia, however, is one to watch. They’ll battle Yemen, who is on a 17 game losing streak. That’s correct. 17 in a row. Malaysia will need to pour in the goals, however, and need some help from China. Yemen doesn’t win, but they also don’t concede a ton of goals. In the end, we think both China and Iraq advance.
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Friendlies make up a bulk of the action on Wednesday. By our count, there are 54 of them all over the globe. This is the final international matchday before the World Cup, so it is unlikely we see this many games in 1 day for quite some time. You can check out all of our Predictions on our Predictions Page.
What is also exciting is that we don’t predict a ton of blowouts. We only have 3 matches (Burkina Faso-Comoros, Colombia-Tunisia, Russia-Armenia) where the projected winner has a margin of 4. Everything else is 3 or less. It should make for quite the excitement. The good news is that we are going to be held accountable. We are participating in The Roon Ba’s World League of Rankings competition. While we’d be thrilled to finish in the medals, clearly beating ESPN’s Soccer Power Index is our biggest goal.
ESPN paraded Nate Silver on TV during the World Cup draw, and the guy could barely get his words out. There’s a reason that some bloggers sit behind a computer. ESPN bought this guy for more money than most of us will make in a lifetime, and it would be great to take down his Soccer Power Index, which has no accolades other than the man it was created by. We’ll be waiting with anticipation to see how WGF stacks up.
Of the rest, we don’t have any matchups between Top 10 teams, but Ukraine-USA is a matchup of Top 11 teams. Given that this one will now be played (if it is) at a neutral venue, this is our highest rated matchup of the day. We give Ukraine a slight edge, but ultimately think it ends in a draw. Our lowest ranked matchup is the previously mentioned Yemen v. Malaysia. Both of these teams are outside of our Top 170.
Another exciting matchup will be Kosovo v. Haiti, as this will be the first match against another country since 2007. We have no data on Kosovo, so we have no idea how this will go. Should be interesting. Some other notable matches include Germany v. Chile, Netherlands v. France, Romania v. Argentina, and the largely overblown rematch of the EURO 2012 final, Spain v. Italy. Belgium v. Ivory Coast, Switzerland v. Croatia, and Mexico v. Nigeria round out the slate of quality matches.
We look forward to this exciting day of football, and we hope you do as well. Thanks for reading.
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The full list of matches with start times. All times Eastern Standard Time:
|07:00||Uzbekistan||United Arab Emirates||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|08:30||Oman||Singapore||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|09:00||Jordan||Syria||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|09:00||Thailand||Lebanon||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|09:00||Iraq||China PR||Yes||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|09:00||Yemen||Malaysia||Yes||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|09:00||Vietnam||Hong Kong||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|10:25||Qatar||Bahrain||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|12:30||Saudi Arabia||Indonesia||No||Asian Cup Qualifier|
|13:30||Luxembourg||Cape Verde Islands||No||Friendly|