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Pressure on Australia after another draw in World Cup Qualifying

Sun, Mar 26, 10:44am by Head Editor

PREVIEW: Australia v UAE

Date and Time: Tuesday March 28, 8pm AEDT

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

TV: Fox Sports

After their fourth straight draw in World Cup Qualifying, the Socceroos find themselves under extreme pressure to secure a top-two finish and automatic qualification for Russia 2018.

Despite struggling for form, the bookies have installed the Aussies as short-priced favourites at $1.44, the draw is at $4.33 and an UAE win is at $6.50.

The Asian Champions have scored just one goal from open play in their last 300 minutes of football, and with four matches to go, they trail the top two teams in the group –Saudi Arabia and Japan – by three points.

The UAE currently sit fourth on the table, just one point behind the Socceroos, and are still in the hunt for qualification themselves. They lost to Japan 2-0 at home on Thursday but beat the Samurai Blue on their home soil in their opening WCQ in September.

Aussie boss Ange Postecoglou was adamant following Thursday 1-1 draw with Iraq, that playing three of the last four qualifying games at home, would benefit his team, and he’s still confident the green and gold would qualify for their fourth straight World Cup.

The coach has come under scrutiny for his decision to change the team’s formation to a 3-3-4 for last Thursday’s game. He could also be forced to make several changes to the hosts’ starting XI for this clash, with the pitch in Tehran for their clash against Iraq, best described as a quagmire.

One of the hosts most in-form players –  Aaron Mooy – will be on the sidelines on Tuesday, after picking up his second yellow card of the qualifying campaign in that clash.

Mitch Langerak was a shining light in Thursday’s 1-1 draw. The Stuttgart shot-stopper nullified several Iraqi advances, to keep his side in the game. He was picked in front of normal number one, Mat Ryan.

At the other end of the pitch, Matthew Leckie, who scored Australia’s goal on Thursday is at $3.10 to score again in this one. That market is topped by Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill and Tomi Juric who are all at $2.30 to hit the back of the net.

It really is now or never for the Socceroos, they cannot afford to drop any points from their remaining three home games, starting with this match on Tuesday. I’m taking them to bounce back on home soil.

Just a reminder that the top two countries gain automatic qualification, with the third placed nation meeting the third ranked nation from Group A. The winner of that home and away contest then progresses to a match-up with the fourth placed CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) nation.

The winner of that home and away tie then books their place at Russia 2018.

Suggested Bet: HT/FT: Australia/ Australia: $2.25

Sportsbet Market:


Australia $1.44

UAE $6.50

Draw $4.33

Under (2.5 Goals) $1.82

Over (2.5 Goals) $1.91

HT/FT Double 

Australia / Australia $2.25

Draw / Australia $4.20

UAE / Australia $23.00

Australia / Draw $17.00

Draw / Draw $5.50

UAE / Draw $17.00

Australia / UAE $71.00

Draw / UAE $13.00

UAE / UAE $13.00

Anytime Goalscorer

A Mooy $2.70

J Irvine $2.88

N Burns $2.30

T Cahill $2.30

T Juric $2.30

J Troisi $3.50

M Leckie $3.10

R Kruse $3.10

M Jedinak $4.50

M Milligan $5

M Amini $6

M Luongo $6

R McGree $7.50

B Smith $10

M Degenak $10

A Behich $11

R Williams $11

R Grant $13

T Sainsbury $13

B Wright $15

A Mabkhout $4.50

I Al Hammadi $5.50

I Matar $5

S Saleh $6

H Al Fardan $7

K Mubarak Al Shamsi $7.50

M Abdulrahman $7

O Abdulrahman $7

A Barman $9.50

H Ibrahim $10

F Juma $13

H Al Kamali $13

A Hussain $19

K Esmaeel $19

M Khamis $19

A Sanqour $23

I Ahmed $23

M Fawzi $23

M Salem $23

W Abbas $23

Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at time of publishing*

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