Thailand vs India
Asian Cup 2019
Date: Sunday, 6 January 2019
Kick-Off at 13:30 UK/ 14:30 CET
Venue: Al Nahyan Stadium (Abu Dhabi).
Thailand are bookies’ favorites to snatch a win against India in their opening group game of the 2019 Asian Cup.
This is a key game for both sides and the winning team here will have the better chance of qualifying to the knockouts as one of the best third placed teams. The other two teams in the group are UAE and Bahrain, who are tipped as favorites to win the first and second spot.
The War Elephants are the most successful team in Southeast Asia, but they hardly carry the performance to Asian turf. This is their sixth appearance since 1992 and failed to progress beyond the group stage in all previous five.
Moreover, Thailand managed just 1 win from their previous 20 matches in the competition and that solitary win dates back to 2007 against Oman when they were co-hosts of the tournament.
The form of Milovan Rajevac’s team running into the continental competition is positive. The Thai football team lost 0-2 to Oman in the latest friendly, but this came after an unbeaten run of 8 games which saw 5 wins and 3 draws.
Meantime, India’s preparations to the tournament is marred by lack of quality friendlies. The team in blue played just three friendlies since September, but two positive results came in the form of goal-less draws against China and Oman. While they lost 1-2 to Jordan in a match most of their players were suffering from fatigue due to a delayed flight.
This is India’s 4th overall appearance at Asia’s big stage, but first ever through qualifying round. Their last appearance in 2011 is a forgettable one as they lost all three games conceding a massive 13 goals as against 3 scored. However, they were in a tough group alongside eventual semifinalists Australia and South Korea.
Thailand vs India Head-to-head
The teams last met in a friendly in 2010 and the War Elephants edged the tie 2-1.
Currently, Thailand are on a 5 match unbeaten run against India with 3 wins and 2 draws.
Thailand vs India Prediction
As mentioned earlier, both teams will be looking for three points here in order to stay in the race for best third place team. So punters must expect a tactical battle when these two minnows take the field at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi this Sunday.
Furthermore, both are defensive sides and like to play the ball from the back. Thus goals will be at premium and whoever score the first goal is likely to stay back and defend to see out the match. This brings under 2.5 full-time goals as my top option.
Considering the nature of the match and India’s recent success in shutting out quality teams, even if they lost, it won’t be by a margin of more than 1 goal. This brings the handicap +1.5 as my second choice.
Thailand vs India Betting Tips
Under 2.5 match goals @ 1.60 (3/5)
India +1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.56 (5/9).