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Jun 15, 2021 at 7pm UK
ChinaChina
3-1
SyriaSyria
Xizhe (43'), Lei (69' pen.), Zhang (90+3')
Hongbo (73')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Aosman (50')
Hameesheh (22'), Anz (58')

Preview: China vs. Syria - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: China vs. Syria - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - Asia clash between China and Syria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The top two in Group A - China and Syria - will round off their 2022 World Cup qualification second-round campaign with a clash in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday evening.

Syria have already claimed first spot in the section, winning each of their seven matches, while China have picked up 16 points from their seven fixtures to secure second position.


Match preview

China made a impressive start to their Group A campaign, recording a 5-0 win over Maldives before putting seven unanswered goals past Guam to make it 12 goals in two fixtures in the section.

Li Tie's team played out a goalless draw with Philippines in October 2019, though, before suffering a 2-1 loss to Syria one month later, and those two results have ultimately cost them first spot in the group.

China's recent form has been strong, recording three straight victories over Guam, Philippines and Maldives - scoring 14 times in the process and failing to concede a single goal.

Tie's side will finish second in the section regardless of what happens on Tuesday, though, which will see them advance to the third round of World Cup qualification and progress to the Asian Cup or qualifying third round.

China previously competed in the 2002 World Cup, where they failed to make it out of the group stages, losing all three of their fixtures in the finals of the competition.

As for Syria, an excellent Group A campaign has seen them win all seven of their matches, while they have scored 21 times and conceded just four during a successful second round.

Nabil Maaloul's side, like China, have advanced to the third round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup, while they are also guaranteed a position in the Asian Cup.

Syria have never competed in the finals of a World Cup, but their form in Group A cannot be ignored, and it will be fascinating to see how they perform in the next round.

Maaloul's team will enter Tuesday's clash off the back of successive wins over Maldives and Guam this month and will be determined to finish with a victory despite already securing first spot in the section.

China World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

China form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Syria World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Syria form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Former Everton youngster Tyias Browning made his debut for China against Guam at the end of last month, and the 27-year-old is expected to start here despite not being used against Maldives on Friday.

Head coach Tie is likely to make alterations from the side that took to the field last time out, with Elkeson potentially returning in the final third of the field.

Wu Lei was again on the scoresheet against Maldives and should continue in the XI, while Zhang Yuning is also expected to keep his position in the side for Tuesday's contest.

As for Syria, Mardik Mardikian netted twice in the three-goal success over Guam last time out, and the 29-year-old is again expected to lead the line against China here.

Simon Amin made his debut against Guam and could be handed another role in midfield here, while 34-year-old Taha Mosa may potentially keep his spot between the sticks.

There will be room for experiment considering that the result is not too important, but there is likely to be a return to the starting side for Mahmoud Al-Mawas, who is the leading scorer (15) and most experienced member of the squad with 72 caps to his name.

China possible starting lineup:
Yan; Tang, Zhang, Browning, Wang; Wu Xi, Jin, Wu Xinghan, Zhang; Wu Lei, Elkeson

Syria possible starting lineup:
Mosa; Krouma, Arnaout, Mohammad; Al-Hamawi, Amin, Al-Mawas, Kerdagli; Al-Salama, Rihanieh; Mardikian


We say: China 1-1 Syria

The reverse match in November 2019 was a close affair, with Syria running out 2-1 winners, and we are expecting another tight contest here. China's recent form has been impressive - recording four straight wins in all competitions - and we fancy a low-scoring draw here.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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