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Preview: Group B


Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Kuwait 1

Kuala Lumpur: Group B of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 promises to be a thriller with Australia, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait and Nepal eyeing the top two spots.


The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for Qatar 2022.

However, should Qatar - who have already qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as hosts - win their group, the seven other group winners and five best second-placed sides will advance to the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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The same applies should Qatar finish as one of the four best second-placed teams, with the fifth best group runners-up advancing to the third round of the Qualifiers.

The next best 24 teams from the second round of the Asian Qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

We preview Group B.

AUSTRALIA

FIFA Ranking: 46
AFC Asian Cup Finals Record: Champions (2015)
FIFA World Cup Finals Record: Round of 16 (2006)
Head Coach: Graham Arnold (AUS)

All 23 players in the @Socceroos squad to face Kuwait👇

Details: https://t.co/KqiytGl7pI#GoSocceroos pic.twitter.com/sciOeRLg04

— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) August 30, 2019

Australia, having seen their 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals campaign end at the group stage and their defence of the AFC Asian Cup title over in the quarter-finals at UAE 2019, will be determined to dominate in the Asian Qualifiers.

The Socceroos are a squad in transition but head coach Graham Arnold is excited with the talent at his disposal and will be confident of advancing from Group B as one of the top two teams.


JORDAN

FIFA Ranking: 99
AFC Asian Cup Finals Record: Quarter-finals (2004, 2011)
FIFA World Cup Finals Record: No previous appearances
Head Coach: Vital Borkelmans (BEL)

Jordan were one of the revelations at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, which saw them defeating Australia in the group stage, and the West Asians will be aiming to continue from where they left off.

Head coach Vital Borkelmans brought the best out of his team in UAE 2019, where they were eliminated on penalties by Vietnam in the Round of 16, and Jordan will be optimistic of advancing to the third round as either group winners or runners-up.


CHINESE TAIPEI

FIFA Ranking: 125
AFC Asian Cup Finals Record: Third (1960)
FIFA World Cup Finals Record: No previous appearances
Head Coach: Louis Lancaster (ENG)

Chinese Taipei will not have it easy but head coach Louis Lancaster, appointed in January, will be working on getting his team to get points off all their challengers in a bid to seal a place in the top two - which will mean automatic qualification for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 and a shot at qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.


KUWAIT

FIFA Ranking: 156
AFC Asian Cup Finals Record: Champions (1980)
FIFA World Cup Finals Record: Group Stage (1982)
Head Coach: Romeo Jozak (CRO)

Having missed out on the qualifying campaign for the previous editions of both tournaments due to a FIFA-imposed suspension, former AFC Asian Cup champions Kuwait will be determined to qualify for China 2023 and join the Continent's big teams in the third round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.


NEPAL

FIFA Ranking: 166
AFC Asian Cup Finals Record: No previous appearances
FIFA World Cup Finals Record: No previous appearances
Head Coach: Johan Kalin (SWE)

The odds may be stacked against Nepal but that will not stop them from believing they can have a successful campaign, with their home matches key for the Himalayan nation.


Fixtures

Matchday 1 - September 5: Chinese Taipei vs Jordan; Kuwait vs Nepal
Matchday 2 - September 10: Kuwait vs Australia; Chinese Taipei vs Nepal
Matchday 3 - October 10: Jordan vs Kuwait; Australia vs Nepal
Matchday 4 - October 15: Jordan vs Nepal; Chinese Taipei vs Australia
Matchday 5 - November 14: Kuwait vs Chinese Taipei; Jordan vs Australia
Matchday 6 - November 19: Nepal vs Kuwait; Jordan vs Chinese Taipei
Matchday 7 - March 26: Nepal vs Chinese Taipei; Australia vs Kuwait
Matchday 8 - March 31: Nepal vs Australia; Kuwait vs Jordan
Matchday 9 - June 4: Nepal vs Jordan; Australia vs Chinese Taipei
Matchday 10 - June 9: Chinese Taipei vs Kuwait; Australia vs Jordan

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