Byline Banter: Asian Cup Stock Exchange

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With the A-League still on break and the Asian Cup well and truly underway, this week – and until the end of the Asian Cup – Byline Banter will be your home of the Asian Cup Stock Exchange (ACSX).

However, we’re not Tom Waterhouse and unlike the national stock exchange where the stock is listed in prices, ours will be a rating out of 10 based on the likelihood of each nation taking out the title.

Group A

Australia
Opened at: 8
Now trading: 9
Two dominating wins has the host nation looking a real threat to take out the title, even though they’re yet to face another serious contender.

South Korea
Opened at: 8
Now trading: 8
The South Koreans have so far done what they’ve needed to do without being totally convincing. Australia has been far more impressive against Oman and Kuwait, tallying eight goals as opposed to Korea’s two. Saturday’s match against the Socceroos will provide them with a chance to show the other nations how serious they are.

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Kuwait
Opened at: 3
Now trading: SUSPENDED
The Kuwaitis will be looking to avoid last spot when they face Oman in Newcastle on Saturday night.

Oman
Opened at: 4
Now trading: SUSPENDED
Oman should take care of Kuwait and avoid the dreaded last place finish in Group A.

Group B

Uzbekistan
Opened at: 6
Now trading: 6
The White Wolves were Champions in 1994 and finished fourth in the last Asian Cup; there is no reason to think they’re going to do any worse than that. They’re well drilled and will improve on their opening match.

China
Opened at: 4
Now trading: 5
China shocked Saudi Arabia in their opening match and may be more dangerous than first expected. Still hard to see them going past the quarters.

North Korea
Opened at: 2
Now trading: 2
Did much better than expected against Uzbekistan in the first match and almost stole a point. Still too hard for them.

Saudi Arabia
Opened at: 5
Now trading: 5
Defeat at the hands of China would have come as a real shock and the Green Falcons need a result against North Korea on Wednesday night to remain a chance of qualifying.


Group C

United Arab Emirates
Opened at: 5.5
Now trading: 6.5
Absolutely dusted up by Qatar 4-0 and will now be looking to push towards the semi-finals. Not that far out of contention.

Iran
Opened at: 7
Now trading: 7
The Iranians are the highest-ranked team according to FIFA and they’ll be quite happy to fly under the radar as they march towards the semis. Good roughie.

Bahrain
Opened at: 3
Now trading: 2.5
Have been eliminated at the group stage in the last two Asian Cups and it’s hard to see them going any further this time around, particularly considering their next match is against UAE.

Qatar
Opened at: 3
Now trading: 2.5
Similar story to Bahrain and they need a result against Iran on Thursday night. How did they get the World Cup again?

Group D

Japan
Opened at: 9
Now trading: 9
The reigning champions were considered by many to be favorites for the title again and their structured performance against Palestine did nothing to damage their hopes.

Iraq
Opened at: 2.5
Now trading: 2.5
Got the result in a yawn-fest against Jordan on Monday night, but at least they got the points.

Jordan
Opened at: 4
Now trading: 3
Made the quarter finals in 2011 but will need quick improvement if they want to do it again this time around.

Palestine
Opened at: 1
Now trading: 1.5
Did better than many expected against Japan and got plenty of support from the crowd. Australians love an underdog and will no doubt be getting right behind them until the end of their campaign.

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