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Asian Cup Group A: Australia and South Korea to scrap for top spot

First-time hosts Australia are Asian Cup second-favourites (11/4) with Coral, but must first navigate a pool containing fellow tournament tips South Korea (5/1).

The swashbuckling Socceroos boast an abundance of top tier talent, including ex-Everton talent Tim Cahill and Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak, so are understandable odds-on favourites at 10/11 to win Group A in front of their home faithful.

Cahill could be preparing for his international swansong and will surely be aiming to secure some memorable silverware with the Socceroos, whilst 2014 AFC International Player of the Year Jedinak will be hoping to keep impressing away from Selhurst Park.

Their competitors for pool top spot include third-favourite tournament chances South Korea who are available at 11/8 to pip Cahill and co to the post and qualify from Group A as victors.

The Taeguek Warriors will go Down Under equipped familiar faces from both the Bundesliga and Premier League, with Swansea City playmaker Ki Sung-Yueng and Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min amongst the stars to look out for.

Australia kick off their campaign in the curtain-raiser against Kuwait, but won’t face close rivals South Korea until their last group game, in what could very well be a dress rehearsal for the final, as only current Asian Cup holders Japan are rated higher chances to be winners in 2015.

All eyes will be on Brisbane Stadium as the Socceroos superstars clash with the tenacious Taegeuk Warriors, with a potential cup winner in their midst. This eagerly anticipated duel has the potential to be either a dramatic group decider or a dead rubber, depending how both sides have progressed.

Neutrals should not, however, forget about fellow Group A hopefuls Kuwait, who are outsiders at 18/1 to take the pool by storm, and Oman (8/1), who are led by former Cameroon and Rangers coach Paul Le Guen and captained by Wigan Athletic-owned goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

Everyone loves an underdog story and these two teams have grit and determination in spades.