Qatar World Cup 2022 AFC Qualifiers Matchday 7 Preview and Predictions

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Japanese fans cheer during an AFC qualifying football match against Syria. Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP

AFC World Cup 2022 Qualifiers betting odds are now available as we are back with our favorite international expert soccer advice and free betting predictions.

Read on for this week’s World Cup Qualifiers Matchday 7 betting advice, soccer analysis and free Qatar World Cup betting picks.

Japan vs. China

Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 05:00 AM EST at Saitama Stadium

Asian Rivals Do Battle

Three rounds deep and six games into Asia's World Cup Qualifying stages, Japan positively occupies a qualification position in Group B. However, with Australia trailing by a mere one point, Japan will want to avoid doubts by defeating their midweek visitors.

The task ahead shouldn't give Hajime Moriyasu's squad much worry. The Japanese outfit destroyed the competition in the second round of qualification and have additionally won 4 and lost 2 in the third round, thus far. Consecutive victories over Vietnam, Oman and a 1-0 reverse victory against China in hostile territory leave the home team with all the confidence.

China will need a miracle to claim a top-two qualification spot, and if it weren't for their star striker Wu Lei scoring against Oman and Australia, their hopes would've already dwindled. However, there is a possibility with four games remaining, but they're also relying on the downfall of the squads ahead of them in Group B's table.

Final Thoughts | World Cup 2022 Betting Picks

Japan has successfully qualified in its previous six WCQ attempts, while China hasn't seen qualification since 2002. These trends don't bode well for a Chinese team that's already struggled in the competition thus far.

Moriyasu is likely to name his strongest starting XI from the players available, and we should expect a similar squad that helped Japan win three consecutive qualifiers in 2021. We should note that Japan's preferred defense will be without crucial starters; however, the home side will still own a talent advantage over China and shouldn't encounter many offensive troubles.

The key offensive weapons in Minamino, Osako and Ito will assist the Samurai Blue's goal-scoring advantage. Still, Japan are renowned for conservative victories, so expected less than 3.5 goals on the final score can increase our wagering value.

Score Prediction: Japan 2 – China 0

AFC Pick: Japan to Win + Under 3.5 Goals (-125) [1.80] [1.20u wager returns 1.10u] at Everygame (visit our Everygame Review)

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United Arab Emirates vs. Syria

Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 10:00 AM EST at Al-Maktoum Stadium

UAE to Keep Their World Cup Hopes Alive

With Iran and South Korea running away with Group A's World Cup qualification positions, third place UAE enter a must-win situation on Thursday if they want to stand a chance at qualification. On the bright side, they'll face a Syria squad who's winless in the competition, and a home advantage will see their Dubai fan base give them an extra nudge in support.

Entering a seventh-round three meeting following their first win in Group A, the Sons of Zayed can find confidence and positivity where a current eight-point gap can be squashed to five. But first, they must conquer the visiting Syria, a task that shouldn't overwhelm Bert van Marwijk's squad, given the visitor's appalling record to date.

Syria are already eliminated from the World Cup qualifiers, and they've notably lost four of their previous five fixtures in all competitions. In December, UAE eliminated Syria from the Arab Cup with a 2-1 scoreline, a repeat performance that would suit Marwijk perfectly.

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UAE's manager Marwijk guided a Netherlands squad to the World Cup final in 2010; his experience in delivering victory in crucial encounters will be imperative going forward. Despite Syria holding UAE to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, it's difficult to overlook a fully strengthened squad that wasn't present in the first meeting.

With near even betting odds for a home win available, I refuse to pass up on this value and overlook UAE's potential of keeping their World Cup destiny alive for our second AFC pick.

Score Prediction: UAE 2 – Syria 1

AFC Pick: UAE to Win ML (-110) [1.91] [1.10u wager returns 1u of profit] at Everygame

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