The AFC Asia Cup will be very competitive this year, with Japan and South Korea dominating among them. The AFC Asia Cup takes place in Qatar, who are the defending champions.
The AFC Asia Cup will be very competitive this year, with Japan and South Korea dominating among them. The AFC Asia Cup takes place in Qatar, who are the defending champions.
PRAYAGKUMAR PATEL ‘26

Football’s Final Act Unfolds Across Asia

AFC Asian Cup Predictions

History
The AFC Asia Cup began on Friday, January 12. The Cup is running at the same time as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) held in Africa.

The AFC Asia Cup has a storied history since its inception in 1956, showcasing the evolution of Asian football. As the nineteenth edition approaches, the host nation, yet to be revealed, will add its unique touch to this prestigious competition. The previous edition in 2022 witnessed Qatar’s triumph, setting the stage for heightened expectations in 2024.

Contenders – The Powerhouses of Asian Football
Among the contenders, Japan and South Korea stand out as football giants. Japan, known for technical finesse, and Korea, recognized for their tenacity, bring a compelling rivalry to the tournament. Reigning champion Qatar, distinguished for their aggressive attacks, will also be keen to defend its title, beating Japan 3–1 with Akram Afif’s second-half penalty in their win.

The AFC Asia Cup has a storied history since its inception in 1956, showcasing the evolution of Asian football.

Our Prediction – South Korea
Our top pick for the AFC Asia Cup 2024 is Korea, a team that combines skill and determination. South Korea has past successes with these tournaments, consistently performing well in international competitions, including previous Asia Cups. The country boasts a roster of talented players, many of whom play in top European leagues, bringing experience and high skill levels to the team. South Korea has a history of success in Asian football and boasts a squad with a mix of experienced campaigners and emerging talents.

Under the leadership of their manager Jürgen Klinsmann, Korea has demonstrated a cohesive playing style, solid defense, and clinical finishing. Players like Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, and Kim Min-jae provide the team with the firepower needed to secure victory. With a favorable FIFA ranking (#23) and a tradition of excellence, Korea enters the tournament as a strong contender for the title.

South Korea also contains strong support from fans and a sense of national pride, which can provide additional motivation for the team to perform better.

Close Second – Japan
Japan, known for its footballing finesse, is our choice for a close second. The Samurai Blue has consistently been a dominant force in Asian football, showcasing technical brilliance and tactical versatility. With players like Kaoru Mitoma and Takehiro Tomiyasu, Japan possesses the skill to challenge any opponent. Their fluid style of play, quick transitions, and clinical finishing make them a formidable force.

Among the contenders, Japan and South Korea stand out as football giants. Japan, known for technical finesse, and Korea, recognized for their tenacity, bring a compelling rivalry to the tournament.

Underdogs?
In the AFC Asia Cup 2024, one team emerges as the clear underdog, destined to defy expectations. The spotlight falls upon Kyrgyzstan, a nation whose footballing spirit runs deep within its rugged landscapes. As they embark on their journey, Kyrgyzstan brings a blend of determination and resilience that captivates the imagination. Despite being considered underdogs, the team boasts a roster of players hungry to prove their mettle on the continental stage. Led by a tactically astute manager, Štefan Tarkovič, and fueled by the passion of their supporters, Kyrgyzstan aims to be a dark horse, ready to surprise and challenge the established order. Their journey is not just a pursuit of victory but a testament to the indomitable spirit that defines the essence of underdog stories in football.

Teams in AFC Asia Cup:
Our predictions of leaders in each group:

The tournament starts with the group stage, where 24 qualified countries from Asia compete to advance. Only 16 advance to the next round. Shown above are our predictions for the group stage, with Blue indicating definite advancement & Orange indicating a possible second stage.
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