The Socceroos World Cup Qualification campaign continues on Tuesday night as they travel to Saitama Stadium to take on Japan from 9.15pm (AEST). The Aussies will start as heavy underdogs on the road and we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Asian WCQ, Saitama Stadium, Tuesday 12th October, 9.15pm (AEST)
The Australian World Cup qualifying campaign is going swimmingly at the moment. After finishing atop Group B in the second round with a perfect 8-0-0 record, they have started the third round with a perfect 3-0-0 record as well. They now sit tied with Saudi Arabia at the top of Group B, six points clear of third place, with the top two nations at the end of 10 games advancing straight through to the World Cup.
While it's certainly an enviable position to be in, the Aussies won't want to take their foot off the gas on Tuesday night, as a win over Japan would really put them in a position to cruise home in Group B.
The Socceroos were too good for Oman on Thursday night, winning 3-1 on the back of goals from Mabil, Boyle and Duke. There was some decent value for the Aussies in that game, which is iteresting given they were on a 10 game winning streak in the Asian World Cup Qualifiers.
It's been over a decade since the Socceroos last beat Japan and they have never beaten them on Japanese soil, a record that stretches all the way back to their first encounter in 1994. Despite that record, all of the pressure will be on Japan after they lost 1-0 to Saudi arabia on Thrusday night to fall a full six points behind the two top teams in Group B.
There are rumours that a loss to the Socceroos on Tuesday night could cost Japanese manager Hajime Moriyasu his job, so it's safe to say that the home team will come out extremely fired up.
Australia Squad: Arzani, Behich, Boyle, Wright, Dougall, Duke, Elder, Genreau, Grant, Hrustic, Irvine, Ikonomidis, Jeggo, Karacic, Mabil, McGowan, McGree, Mooy, Rogic, Ryan (GK), Sainsbury, Souttar, Taggart, Thomas (GK), Vukovic (GK).
Japan Squad: Asano, Endo, Gonda, Kamada, Minamino, Nagatomo, Osako, Sakai, Shibasaki, Tomiyasu, Yoshida, Furuhashi, Haraguchi, Itakura, Kawashima, Miyoshi, Morita, Muroya, Nakayama, Onaiwu, Tanaka, Tani, Ueda
I've got some real reservations about this Japanese side at the moment. They lost 0-1 to Oman at home before just scraping past China on the road in their second game of Round 3. Add another 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia on Thursday night, and the Japanese have scored just one goal in their last three WCQ games.
Their 8-0-0 record in Round 2 of the WCQ looked a little better than it actually was, given they had some real minnows in their group in the likes of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Myanmar.
I'm really surprised that the Aussies are almost $4.00 to win in Japan on Tuesday night. Sure, history isn't in their favour but form certainly is. They've been competely dominant in the Asian World Cup qualifiers so far, going 11-0-0 through the two rounds so far with a combined 35-4 goal aggregate. Back them to win tomorrow night or with the draw no bet if you want some insurance.
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