Australia vs Uzbekistan Prediction: White Wolves to keep it clean in Group B decider

 | January 22 | 

3 mins read

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Australia arrive into their final group game of the 2023 Asian Cup on Tuesday (KO, 11:30) knowing a draw at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium (Doha) will secure top spot.

Their opponents, Uzbekistan, only need a point themselves to secure a top-two finish, but a win for the White Wolves would see them leapfrog the Socceroos and qualify as winners of Group B.

The prize for first is a Round of 16 tie with one of the third-placed teams from Group A/C/D, while the runner-up is set to face second in Group F.

Australia vs Uzbekistan Betting Tips:

  • Half-time correct score - 0-0 @ 23/20
  • Uzbekistan to keep a clean sheet @ 9/5

Team News

Australia beat India 2-0 in their first match before making a couple of changes to their starting XI for the 1-0 win over Syria, with Jordan Bos and Aiden O'Neill replacing Craig Goodwin and Keanu Baccus.

Head coach Graham Arnold will be forced into at least one alteration on Tuesday after striker Mitch Duke picked up a hamstring injury, leaving Uruguay-born Bruno Fornaroli as the prime candidate to assume his position.

Middlesbrough's Riley McGree is also in line for his first start of the tournament after returning from injury and impressing as a substitute against India and Syria, while it remains to be seen whether Bolton Wanderers right-back Gethin Jones - who has received criticism over his first two performances - is dropped for either Thomas Deng or Nathan Atkinson.

It's an even bigger game for Uzbekistan, though, as defeat to Australia - coupled with a win for Syria over India and a swing in the goal difference - could demote them to third-place in Group B and set up a tougher Round of 16 tie against either Iraq or Iran.

Therefore, head coach Srecko Katanec is unlikely to make many changes to the side that followed up a goalless draw with Syria with a 3-0 win over India.

Igor Sergeyev and Abbosbek Fayzullaev both scored in that second game after appearing as substitutes in the first, and are primed for back-to-back starts in Doha on Tuesday.

Match Odds

Australia are 13/8 to record a sixth consecutive win, with the draw at 15/8 and a victory for Uzbekistan priced at 2/1.

Both teams to score is 11/10 and it's 13/8 for over 2.5 goals.

Half-time correct score - 0-0 @ 23/20

Three of the four games in Group B so far have been absolute snooze-fests heading into half-time. Uzbekistan's three goals against India in the second round of fixtures is the only match to have featured a first-half goal, with Australia recording back-to-back 0-0's going into the interval, despite playing against much inferior opposition.

Arnold's side have struggled to break teams down so far, and there's no need for them to go looking for goals early on here with qualification already assured and a draw enough for them to advance as group winners.

Uzbekistan can afford to play a patient game, too, and just look to attack when they get the opportunity.

Half-time correct score 0-0 in Australia vs Uzbekistan at 23-20Uzbekistan to keep a clean sheet @ 9/5

Australia are yet to show any real fluency in attack at this tournament, and they're unlikely to be helped by further changes made to the starting XI on Tuesday.

Three goals scored across two matches against India and Syria doesn't make for encouraging reading, with Uzbekistan set to pose a much tougher test.

The Central Asia nation is yet to concede at the Asian Cup, with Syria failing to register a single shot on target against them in the opening game.

With Australia just needing a draw to win Group B, there is no real pressure on them to score, while Uzbekistan will be doing their utmost to keep the clean sheet which would see them at least qualify as runners-up, and hand themselves an opportunity to finish first.

Uzbekistan to keep a clean sheet vs Australia at 9-5Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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