The AFC Asian Cup continues in earnest on Thursday as Palestine take on the United Arab Emirates in Qatar.
With Palestine having lost their opening match, they need to take something here otherwise they will be heading towards an early exit. Below we have taken a look at this Group C clash and put forward a couple of betting selections.
The Knights lost their opening match, 4-1 to Iran, while the UAE are tied with the Iranians atop the group thanks to a 3-1 triumph over Hong Kong.
Palestine were without Ataa Jaber for their opening match and there is some hope he could return here. Shehab Qunbar was given his debut at the weekend, as he partnered his brother Zaid Qanbar in attack against Iran, but it was Tamer Seyam who scored in that encounter as he moved second in the all-time goalscorers list for Palestine.
Record goalscorer Ali Mabkhout missed the UAE’s opening win, while Zayed Sultan got his first international goal on Sunday. Sultan Adil, the young forward, scored his second goal for his country and should be in line for another start here.
Palestine are 7/2 to win this match, with a draw available at 12/5 on Betfred. UAE are the favourites for this one at a price of 7/10, BTTS is 10/11 and over 2.5 goals is 11/10.
UAE to win to nil @ 13/8
Palestine look like a poor outfit from what we have seen so far, and what that is lacklustre in front of goal. Their solitary goal against Iran in a 4-1 defeat was their first in five matches, and they have also failed to score in the two 2026 World Cup qualifiers, failing to win in their last eight matches in all competitions.
Meanwhile, the UAE have improved steadily over the past twelve months and are now a force to be reckoned with at this tournament. After looking strong in their opening match, a win here will likely secure their place in the knockout stage for a third successive campaign.
Top-rated coach Paulo Bento got the job in July 2023, and since then they have won seven of their last eight - only losing narrowly to Oman in a warm-up match for the Asian Cup. All signs point towards another comfortable victory here, and I’ll be surprised if Palestine threaten the UAE goal, making the 13/8 on a win to nil very tempting indeed.
Sultan Adil to score anytime @ 9/5
19-year-old striker Sultan Adil could be the UAE’s next superstar. He’s still a teenager but has been given big responsibility by Paulo Bento, even stepping up to take and score a penalty in their opening game. That will give him huge confidence and as the tournament progresses, it looks as though he could become UAE’s main man.
Against a Palestinian side that should concede possession, chances and goals, I’m more than happy to back the young man, flying high on confidence, to score at any time. The price of 9/5 is fairly generous for this talented forward.
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