Uzbekistan vs Syria
Asia – 2018 World Cup Qualifier
Date: Thursday; 1-September-2016
Kick-off: 16:00 UK
Venue: Stadion Bunyodkor, Tashkent.
Uzbekistan reached the AFC play-off during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. But were eventually defeated by Jordan on penalty shoot-out. And this time they will be eyeing at least a similar feat when they kick-off their round fixture against Syria.
Syria and Uzbekistan are drawn into a tough group which includes South Korea, Iran, Qatar and China. This makes this particular fixture extremely important for both teams if they are to progress to the next round. The ranked 1 and 2 teams will gain automatic qualification to the FIFA World Cup. While the third placed teams from each group go to the play-off and the winner will play against CONMEBOL’s fifth-place team.
Uzbekistan reached the third round after finishing top of the group surpassing North Korea, Philippines, Bahrain and Yemen. The won 7 matches, while lost won scoring 20 goals against 7 conceded.
While Syria qualified are the one of the best second placed teams after positioning behind Japan in their group. Besides the two defeats against Japan in which they conceded 8 goals, they won in their remaining 6 matches.
Uzbekistan vs Syria: Head-to-Head
Their latest meeting was in a friendly on June 2011, which Uzbekistan won by 2-1. They also defeated Syria by the same margin during the 1996 Asia Cup making it two wins in two meetings against the middle east opponents.
Uzbekistan vs Syria: Prediction
The Uzbek team have a strong record at home and they will back themselves for a win here. They are on a 7 match winning run at home and suffered 1 loss in their last 18.
While Syria, despite their good record this year in the qualification round, had won just 1 of their last four friendlies. Also they remain with just 1 win from their last 5 away games, which includes defeats to Thailand and Vietnam.
For me, Uzbekistan are slight favourites to win this won mainly on the back of their home record. But, Syria can pull out a determined performance, they can leave with a point from Tashkent.
Uzbekistan vs Syria: Betting Tips
Double Chance – Uzbekistan/Draw at 2/5 (1.40).
Under 2.5 goals at 13/20 (1.65).