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Al Annabi train ahead of qualifying clash against Bangladesh in Dhaka

Al Annabi train ahead of qualifying clash against Bangladesh in Dhaka

AFC
Kuala Lumpur
As many as 32 ties will be played in the next two Matchdays of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 as the continent’s 40 hopefuls look to take another step closer in advancing to the two showpieces.
Matchdays One and Two produced several surprises. He are five matches to keep an eye on in Thursday’s Matchday Three.
Bangladesh vs Qatar
The reigning AFC Asian Cup champions and FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar travel to Dhaka still wondering how they settled for a 0-0 draw with India on Matchday Two.
That result ended a winning streak for Felix Sanchez’s side against Asian opposition and Bangladesh will be relishing the chance to lock horns with the continent’s standout team.
Qatar will play Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday, eight days before meeting Oman on October 15 at home at Al Janoub Stadium.
China vs Guam
On paper, this should be a win for China Peoples Republic but it can never be as easy that, not when they are facing a side who have a history of beating higher ranked opponents.
Guam grabbed headlines in the previous Asian Qualifiers when they defeated the higher ranked Turkmenistan and India in Round Two and the Pacific Islanders are itching to score big again.
Back-to-back defeats against Maldives and Philippines mean Guam have no room for error, setting the stage for a potential classic against a side – at 68 – ranked 127 places higher.
Australia vs Nepal
The Socceroos’ last home defeat in FIFA World Cup qualification was in 2008 - 1-0 to China PR - and this is a streak Nepal will have to overcome at the GIO Stadium Canberra.
The South Asians, however, will not be lacking in motivation - especially after having bounced back from a 7-0 defeat to Kuwait to beat Chinese Taipei 2-0.
Uzbekistan vs Yemen
Uzbekistan’s opening match defeat to Palestine cost Hector Cuper his job as head coach and the Central Asians couldn’t have picked a worse time to play a Yemen side brimming with confidence.
The West Asians followed up a 2-2 draw with Singapore by holding Asian giants Saudi Arabia to a similar result and will be confident of getting a positive result against an Uzbekistan side that could still be reeling from their opening day defeat.
Vietnam vs Malaysia
The last meeting between the two Southeast Asian rivals in Hanoi ended with Vietnam lifting the 2018 AFF Cup.
Much, however, has changed since then and Malaysia – after a 3-2 win over Indonesia and a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to United Arab Emirates - will believe they have a chance to take all three points against a Vietnam side who are the dominant team in ASEAN now.

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