2019 AFC Asian Cup Previews, Predictions & Betting Tips

What is the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be the 17th edition of the premier international men’s football tournament in Asia. Held every four years, the AFC Asian Cup is organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). 

The AFC Asian Cup started in Hong Kong in 1954 and is the second oldest continental football tournament in the world after the Copa América. The first two rounds of the qualifying campaign formed part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the AFC.

The Asian Cup was held every four years from 1956-2004, with the AFC deciding to hold the next edition in 2007 to avoid clashing with the Summer Olympic Games and the UEFA European Football Championships.

The winner of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup earns a place in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Where is the 2019 AFC Asian Cup being played?

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup is being hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE were announced as hosts in 2015 after beating Iran who were the only remaining bidder aiming to host the tournament.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be the second AFC Asian Cup held in the United Arab Emirates following the 11th edition of the tournament in 1996. The hosts got to the final on that occasion but were beaten in a penalty shootout by Saudi Arabia with the match ties 0-0 after extra time.

When is the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup runs from 5 January to 1 February 2019. The Round of 16 matches will be played on 20-21 January with the Quarter-finals played on 24-25 January. 

The Semi-finals are scheduled to be played on 28-29 January with the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Final to be played at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on 1 February.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup match schedule has been announced including all the dates, times and stadiums for the knockout rounds.

What teams will contest the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be contested by 24 teams for the first time in tournament history. The first AFC Asian Cup in 1956 featured four teams which grew to 16 nations from 2004 to 2015.

UAE automatically qualified as hosts, with 45 national teams going through a qualifying competition running from March 2015 to March 2018 to determine the remaining 23 places.

The following nations will participate in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup: 

United Arab Emirates - The hosts are making their 10th AFC Asian Cup appearance at the 2019 event. The UAE got to the final the last time they hosted the tournament but lost the final in a penalty shootout against Saudi Arabia.

Qatar - Qatar qualified as winners of Group C and will be contesting their tenth Asian Cup. Have won just six of their 32 matches played in the tournament.

South Korea - Beat Germany at the 2018 World Cup and the two time Asian Cup winners will fancy their chances in the UAE.

Japan - Record four time AFC Asian Cup winners were knocked out at the Round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup and are amongst the favourites in 2019.

Thailand - Finished third in 1972 but have a terrible record at the AFC Asian Cup.

Saudi Arabia - The Saudi national team have appeared in nine AFC Asian Cups and have won the tournament three times.

Australia - Defending champions have a new manager and are expected to go a long way in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Uzbekistan - Uzbekistan finished fourth in 2011 and will fancy their chances of getting out of Grroup F.

Iran - Iran will be contesting their 14th AFC Asian Cup and are among the favourites to lift the trophy.

Syria - Syria make their first appearance at the AFC Asian Cup since 2011.

Iraq - Iraq won the tournament in 2007 and could throw up some surprises in 2019.

China PR - China qualified for their 12th appearance at the AFC Asian Cup, twice runners up in 1984 and 2004.

Palestine - Palestine's only previous appearance at the Asian Cup was in 2015 where they lost all three matches.

Oman - Oman secured a spot in third finals having competed in 2004, 2007 and 2015.

India - The India national side are appearing in their fourth ever appearance at the AFC Asian Cup.

Lebanon - This will be Lebanon’s second appearance at the Asian Cup after hosting the tournament in 2000.

Turkmenistan - Turkmenistan's only previous qualification for the AFC Asian Cup finals came in 2004.

Jordan - Jordan could be tough to beat in their fourth AFC Asian Cup finals appearance.

Bahrain - Bahrain have contested the last four tournaments and have been involved in many high scoring matches.

Vietnam - Vietnam qualified for the first time since 2007 when they were hosts. 

Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyzstan qualified for the tournament for the first time and could find it tough in UAE.

North Korea - This will be the fifth appearance for the North Koreans who take on Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in Group E.

Philippines - Philippines are making their Asian Cup in the 2019 tournament.

Yemen - Yemen join the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan as 2019 AFC Asian Cup debutants.

What are the Groups at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

There are six groups at the tournament with four teams in each group. The groups and nations are as follows:

Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
Group E
Group F
United Arab Emirates AustraliaSouth Korea IranSaudi Arabia Japan
BahrainJordanPhilippinesYemenNorth Korea Turkmenistan

What Stadiums will host matches at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

There will be eight stadiums hosting matches at the AFC Asian Cup with three in Abu Dhabi, two in Dubai, two in Al Ain and one in Sharjah. The Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi will host the final on 1 February.

The eight stadiums are as follows:

  • Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
  • Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
  • Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
  • Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai.
  • Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai.
  • Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.
  • Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.
  • Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah.
The Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain is one of the AFC Asian Cup stadiums (Getty Images)

What is the format for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

The 24 nations will contest a group stage which consists of six groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group will advance to the round of 16 alongside the four best third-placed teams.

The knockout stage will feature 16 teams followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and the AFC Asian Cup final.

Who has won the most AFC Asian Cups?

Japan are the most successful nation in the AFC Asian Cup having won four titles in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. Saudi Arabia (1984, 1988, 1996) and Iran (1968, 1972, 1976) are next best with three titles each.

South Korea have won the AFC Asian Cup twice in 1956 and 1960 with Isreal (1964), Kuwait (1980), Iraq (2007) and Australia (2015) all winning once. Japan and Saudi Arabia dominated the AFC Asian Cup from 1984-2004 and have won seven of the last nine finals between them.

Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2007 and finished runners-up in 2011. Australia hosted the AFC Asian Cup in 2015, the Socceroos winning the tournament following a 2-1 extra time victory against South Korea in the final.

Who are the favourites to win the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

The usual suspects are favoured to lift the trophy with little separating Iran, South Korea, Japan and Australia in the betting odds. Host nation United Arab Emirates are given an outside chance alongside Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Uzbekistan, Qatar and Syria would need a lot of luck to win the tournament with the remaining nations expected to make up the numbers.

Who were the recent AFC Asian Cup Winners, Runners-Up & Hosts?


United Arab Emirates
2015AustraliaSouth KoreaAustralia
2007IraqSaudi ArabiaIndonesia / Malaysia / Thailand / Vietnam
2000JapanSaudi ArabiaLebanon
1996Saudi ArabiaUnited Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates
1992JapanSaudi ArabiaJapan
1988Saudi ArabiaSouth KoreaQatar
1984Saudi ArabiaChinaSingapore
1980KuwaitSouth KoreaKuwait

What tips will you have for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

We will have regular AFC Asian Cup football tips during the tournament including match bet tips (Win/Draw/Win), handicap tips and both teams to score (BTTS) tips. 

What are your latest 2019 AFC Asian Cup Betting Tips & Predictions?

We have made out 2019 AFC Asian Cup outright winner prediction with Australia the tip in the outright betting market. 

Football Previews, Predictions & Betting Tips