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MD1 Preview - Group H: Teams set to battle Korea Republic for supremacy


Kuala Lumpur: Korea Republic will set the pace but the East Asians won't have it easy in Group H of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

The two-time AFC Asian Cup champions will not be in action on Thursday with Matchday One to be contested by their four rivals in the group - DPR Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan.

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DPR KOREA vs LEBANON

It will be a meeting between two teams who are very familiar with each other, having met in the third round of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and then in the Finals in the UAE last January.

Neither team advanced to the knockout stage at UAE 2019 and will be aiming for not only a place in China 2023 but also the next phase of qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Matchday One - Group H

With Korea Republic in the group, neither can afford to drop points in their opening tie but DPR Korea will be the more confident of the two.

The East Asians won the Intercontinental Cup in July, which was a massive boost to their confidence after a difficult AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

Lebanon's recent form has been lukewarm, with their 2019 WAFF Championship campaign ending with just one win against a draw and two defeats.

A win against DPR Korea is just the boost they need ahead of a campaign which will involve much travelling but Lebanon will have to produce their best at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang.

DPR KOREA vs LEBANON
Venue: Kim Il Sung Stadium, Pyongyang
Kick-off: 1730 hours (UTC +9)


SRI LANKA vs TURKMENISTAN

Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan will also have three points on their minds as they face off at the Colombo Race Course Ground.

With Korea, DPR Korea and Lebanon all in the group, neither team will want to drop points and have left no stone unturned in preparing for their opening clash.

Sri Lanka advanced to the second round after Macau forfeited their first round, return leg match but the South Asians would have been confident of sealing their place nonetheless.

Turkmenistan featured in UAE 2019 and despite not advancing to the knockout stage, produced some fine performances and the Central Asians will be aiming to carry that form into the tie against Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKA vs TURKMENISTAN
Venue: Colombo Race Course Ground, Colombo
Kick-off: 1930 hours (UTC +5:30)

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