‘Group D’ Consists of West Asian neighbors Iran and Iraq along with Vietnam and Yemen. We take a closer look at all four teams and their chances in the AFC Asian Cup.
Both Iran and Iraq who are former champions of the Asian Cup are clear favourites to go out of this group. Vietnam and Yemen both will have a tough task at hand to go out of this group but a win for one of these side in can take them to knockouts as one four best 3rd placed teams.
Iran are currently without doubt the best Asian side and had a good world cup campaign. Their manager Carlos Queiroz is one of most respected managers across the World and would have an eye at winning the Asian Cup considering this might be his last international tournament with Team Melli.
They have an experienced and skillfully side with players players based in Europe and across Asia making Team Melli the favourites heading into the tournament.
Their approach though would some what defensive especially against top side. They were one of best defensive sides in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and can expect Carlos Queiroz to follow similar approach.
Expected Formation: 4-3-3
Key Players – Alireza Jahanbaksh,Saman Ghaddos, Sardar Azmoun.
Iraq are another team in this group who are favourites to qualify for the knockouts. They defeated Iran in quarter finals of 2015 AFC Asian Cup and won the tournament in 2007. They are managed by former UAE and Slovenia manager Srečko Katanec.
Iraq have had a good 2018 where they managed to trash Saudi Arabia and defeat China and only suffered 2 losses one against Argentina and a 2-3 loss against Qatar.
Expected Formation: 4-3-3
Key Players: Humam Tariq, Osama Rashid
Yemen are heading into their first ever AFC Asian Cup and the country under war are the lowest ranked team in the Asian Cup. They were undefeated in the Asian Cup qualification but could manage only two wins out of six games.
The qualification to the Asian Cup itself is an historic achievement for Yemen’s Football and its people. A victory against Vietnam could make them go through to knockouts considering the format allows fours best 3rd placed team to qualify to the knockout.
Expected formation: 4-5-1
Key Players: Alaa Al-Saais, Mohammad Boqshan
Vietnam are heading into the Asain Cup after winning the AFF Suzuki Cup last month. The Golden Dragons last appearance in the competition was in 2007 were they co-hosted the tournament. They are managed by former South Korean international Park Hang-seo.
Their game against Yemen would be key if they wish to progress to the next round.
Expected Formation: 4-1-4-1
Key Players: Nguyễn Công Phượng, Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng