Asian Cup 2011 Group C Preview: South Korea – India, Australia – Bahrain

Australia, Tuesday, faces a  more difficult task in qualifying for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup, needing a point against Bahrain to progress as South Korea take on India in Group C.

The Socceroos and their Korean counterparts drew 1-1 recently after both winning their opening matches, with the two sides needing only to avoid defeat in order to book a quarter final spot.

India should be cannon fodder for Cho Kwang Rae’s side, though they’ve not disgraced themselves at the tournament, losing 4-0 to the Aussies in an admirable display before giving the Bahraini’s a fright despite going down 5-2 in their second match.

Attacking midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol will be looking to add to his tournament tally of three goals, while the likes of Cha Du-Ri and Park Ji-Sung have been impressive thus far.

India with little stakes, plays South Korea in their final group 'C' match

A big win over the Indians will give them momentum heading into the quarter finals, while Bob Houghton’s outfit will be looking for a respectable result to end their tournament.

Skipper and talisman Baichung Bhutia is finally set to feature after missing his country’s first two matches through injury.

Australia manager Holger Osieck won’t be able to call upon experienced duo Jason Culina and Luke Wilkshire against Bahrain, while David Carney’s shoulder injury means he’s also a doubt.

Bahrain were anything but convincing against India, though will be counting on the form of Ismaeel Abdullatif, who netted four times in that match.

Faouzi Aaish picked up a needless second yellow card for diving though and misses the Australia clash through suspension.

Manager Salman Sharida has admitted he has other injury concerns without having gone into specifics, though a familiarity with the Australian team will help his preparation.

Prediction:
Australia’s strike duo Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill look sharp and they should fire the Socceroos to a win against Bahrain, while South Korea will comfortably account for India.

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