Ladbrokes Highlight Cahill As Australia Dangerman

Many strikers have retired long before they got to Tim Cahill’s age but the 35-year-old Socceroo is the go-to man in attack against Kuwait in the opening game of the Asian Cup

Many strikers have retired long before they got to Tim Cahill’s age but the 35-year-old Socceroo is the go-to man in attack and Ladbrokes make him favourite at $3.40 to score first in the opening game of the Asian Cup.

Hosts Australia get the 16-team tournament underway against Kuwait at Melbourne on Friday in the first of three Group A games, with matches against Oman and Korea Republic to follow.

Cahill To Deliver

Hopes of home success will rest on Cahill’s ability to deliver. The veteran has shown no signs of letting up in his recent performances and his exploits in the air and the pace of the likes of young Mathew Leckie will be the focal point in the opener against Kuwait.

Punters will have to accept skinny odds for Australia to win but can back Tim Cahill to score at any time and Australia to win $3.00 in Ladbroke’s Footy Freaky market. The UK online bookmaking giant joined the Australian betting market in September 2013 and if you’ve not signed up for their great prices, click this link and snag a $250 match bet when you place your first bet online.

Back A Blowout

Kuwait have endured a stormy build up to the Asian Cup. Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira was dismissed after a disappointing performance at the Gulf Cup and new boss Nabil Maaloul has had just a month to prepare.

The Socceroos would be foolish to underestimate their opponents who have a good record against Australia and will take a cautious approach to the opening group game. However Kuwait may not have recovered from the 5-0 thumping against Oman in their last truly competitive match. Bullish home supporters will be keen to back a blowout with Ladbrokes going $3.50 for Australia to win by three or more goals.

Pressure Cooking?

The pressure is on the Socceroos with home advantage but Japan are favourites to win the tournament. Australia at 94 are ranked below Iran (51), Japan (52) and Korean Republic (66), the main rivals in the Asian Cup betting market leaders, but have good reason to feel optimistic about winning their first Asian Cup title.

Support for the national team is overwhelmingly positive and as a rule, Asian teams do not travel well to Australia. Japan and Korea are without settled teams, Korea conceded three goals at home to Costa Rica and lost against Iran recently while it took Japan an hour to break down the Socceroos in the 2-1 friendly defeat in Osaka in November. Australia will have confidence it can impose itself with the help of partisan support.