Our list of predictions for the Asia Cup helps bettors find the right market to bet on and explores the favourites and the outsiders to look out for when choosing your bets.

Top predictions for the outright winner for the Asia Cup 2019 include Iran, Japan and Australia, with these three teams all doing well at the bookies. Leading the pack at the start of the season was the frontrunner Japan, but Iran have since overtaken the Aussies as favourites for outright winner and South Korea have now also become an attractive prospect. The current champions Australia will want to triumph again for another year, so they could be a good Asia Cup prediction, but they have strong competition from all sides, including the host nation UAE.

For bettors looking for the best Asia Cup prediction, Japan looks to be the strongest team in the tournament right now. This nation has won the competition four times previously and was the most impressive nation in the 2018 competition.

However, before Japan started dominating the Asian tournament, Iran was a top-performing national team in the AFC Asian Cup. This is why many experts are suggesting that Iran could be a top Asian Cup prediction for outright winner. Meanwhile, the South Korean team is also looking impressive. Other tempting Asia Cup odds for outright winner include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Qatar and China.

Our predictions for top goal scorer include Iran’s Mehdi Taremi, India’s Sunil Chhetri, Mohammed Ali from Iraq, and Japan’s Yuya Osako. It is almost certain that Maremi will score the most for Iran during the competition, although Sardar Azmoun is another striker who is looking on-form in the tournament so far, having already netted three goals and leading the pack so far. The Japanese team usually have a name up there among the top goal scorers, so another great Asia Cup betting prediction is Osako who already has two goals. Another impressive choice for the title of top goal scorer for Japan is the powerful winger Ritsu Doan who has scored once so far.

Although UAE have relatively long Asia Cup odds, they could produce a top goal scorer in the shape of Ali Mabkhout. Having already scored this year, he is a hot Asia Cup prediction and could be a good choice for an outsider bet for the top goal scorer award. Don’t discount other strikers from other outsider teams. For example, Fahad Al-Muwallad or Salem Al-Dawsari from Saudi Arabia, who are both playing at the top of their game right now. AFC Asian Cup predictions for top goal scorer should also include Heing Min Son from South Korea, who is on fine form for Tottenham and is looking a good bet for the tournament, despite having yet to score.

Asia Cup Qualifiers and Format

The Asia Cup starts with the qualifying rounds, where the preliminary matches are used to determine which teams will play in the Finals. In the first round, 12 teams (ranked 35 to 46) play home and away matches over two legs to decide the six winners who will advance to the second round and join the teams ranked 1 to 34. In the second round these 40 teams are split into 8 groups of 5 teams. These groups play in a mini league and the 8 winners and 4 best runners up advance directly to the Finals.

The next 16 highest ranked teams advance to the third round, while the next 12 highest ranked teams take part in a play-off to fill the remaining 8 places in the third round. In the third round of the Asia Cup qualifiers, 24 teams are split into 6 groups of 4 teams to play in a mini league. These qualifiers determine the final 24 teams who will take part in the Asian Cup final tournament, starting on January 5th.

After the final 24 teams have been decided, there is then a draw to determine the groups for the Finals. The qualifying teams are placed into 6 groups of 4 teams and each team in each group will play each other once as per the ‘round robin’ tournament rules. The top two teams in the mini leagues and the four best third-place teams will advance to the knock-out stage, which includes 16 teams. From here the winner of each game advances to the next stage and the loser is knocked out of the competition. The winners of round 16 all go to the quarter finals, the 4 winners of the quarter finals advance to the semi-final matches, and the winners from those two semi-final matches meet in the Asia Cup Final.

The Asia Cup contains 24 teams this year, which makes the 2019 tournament the biggest ever in the history of the competition. This gives lots more scope for surprises in AFC Asia Cup predictions and betting odds. The UAE are hosts for the 17th edition of the Asian Cup, which means the matches are played across 6 venues within the UAE, including Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, which is the largest stadium in the UAE and will host the Final.

There are some exceptions to the competition format. For example, in 2014, it was proposed that the opening qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup should merge with the first rounds of the AFC Asian Cup. This means that the eight group winners and the four best runners-up of the second round also advance directly to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification, in addition to going through to the next round of the Asian Cup. Due to this new ruling, the 2019 hosts UAE also entered the second round qualifiers of the Asia Cup, despite qualifying automatically due to being hosts. As their automatic qualifying place was no longer necessary, there were 12 places for the Asian Cup available from this round.

Other issues this year include Indonesia being disqualified due to FIFA suspension, leading to group F in the second round only having 4 teams. In addition, Nepal and Macau were invited to enter the third qualification round after Guam withdrew and the Kuwaiti team was suspended. This year has also seen some political issues cause complications during the Asia Cup. For example, an argument between Qatar and the UAE resulted in the UAE suspending flights between the two countries.

Asia Cup Schedule

  • First round: 12 teams ranked 35–46: March 2015
  • Second round: 40 teams (teams ranked 1–34 and six first round winners): June 2015 – March 2016
  • Play-Off round: remaining 12 teams (fourth-placed teams and the four best group fifth-placed teams): June 2016 – October 2016
  • Third round: 24 teams: March 2017 – March 2018
  • Group stage: 24 teams (6 groups of 4): January 2019
  • Round 16: 16 teams: January 2019
  • Quarter Finals: 8 teams: 24th-25th January 2019
  • Semi-Finals: 4 teams: 28th-29th January 2019
  • Final: 2 teams: 1st February 2019

About the Asia Cup Tournament

The Asia Cup is the international men’s football competition of Asia, taking place every four years. This tournament is organised by the Asian Football Confederation. In 2019, the tournament is being held in the United Arab Emirates with the Finals running from 5th January to 1st February 2019. This is the second oldest continental football tournament in the world, after Copa América, having existed since 1956. The tournament is broadcast by around 80 TV channels across the world with 800 million people expected to watch the 2019 Asian Cup matches. Asia Cup betting is highly popular across the world with generous Asia Cup odds offering some lucrative potential returns for the boldest bettors.

This year is the first time the Asia Cup will be contested by 24 teams, rather than the usual 16 teams, which makes it the biggest ever competition in the history of the Asia Cup. The winner will earn automatic qualification into the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. The trophy is made from silver and modelled on an Asian lotus flower, while the total prize money available from the competition is USD 14,800,000. The winners of the Asia Cup are set to receive USD 5 million, the nation who finishes runner-up will receive USD 3 million and the third place finisher will receive USD 1 million. All the 24 teams taking part in the competition will also receive USD 200,000.

Browse AFC Asia Cup predictions by BettingTop10 India, to learn more about the tournament. We will help you understand the history and controversies, uncover the best odds, decide who will be your top goal scorer and which team will win in 2019!

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