Philippines vs Vietnam Match Analysis & Prediction
16/11/2023 2:00 pm
The journey to the 2026 World Cup begins on Thursday for the Philippines and Vietnam, who meet at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila for their opening qualifying tie in Group F.
Iraq will be widely expected to sail through the section as group winners, leaving Thursday’s competitors and Indonesia to engage in a three-way battle for the second third-round qualification berth.
Not until 1998 would the Philippines try their hand at World Cup qualifying, and not until 2014 would they win a game in the preliminary rounds, so it will come as no surprise to learn that the hosts are still waiting for thei maiden appearance in the world’s most prestigious tournament.
However, the Philippines have shown steady signs of progress in competitive action since failing to win any of their nine first-round matches between 1998 and 2002, collecting an all-time best of 11 points in the second round of qualifying for the Qatar World Cup to finish third in the section behind China and Syria.
By finishing in third place, the Street Dogs earned a ticked to the third round of qualifying for the upcoming Asian Cup, only to fall to the superiority of a perfect Palestine in that four-team section, while a fourth-placed finish in the group stage of the AFF Championship was best consigned to history as well.
However, since German-born Michael Weiss took charge for the second time in June, the Philippines have strung together a respectable set of results, losing just two of their last six friendly games – to Chinese Taipei and Bahrain – and getting the better of Nepal, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Also yearning for their inaugural appearance at the World Cup, Vietnam can proudly boast to sit 44 places higher than the Philippines in the latest FIFA World Rankings, thanks in no small part to finishing as runners-up to Thailand in the 2022 AFF Championship.
From June to September, Vietnam strolled to three successive friendly victories against Hong Kong, Syria and Palestine with three clean sheets in tow, but they have since lost to China, Uzbekistan and South Korea without scoring a single goal, and conceding 10 at the other end.
Six of those 10 goals came in a thrashing at the hands of South Korea on October 17, but Vietnam enjoyed their best World Cup qualifying campaign to date for the 2022 event, reaching the third and final preliminary round before finishing rock bottom of their group.
Promoted from youth team manager to first-team head coach this year, Frenchman Philippe Troussier will lead th Golden Star Warriors into their fifth competitive encounter with Philippines this week.
Philippines vs. Vietnam Head to head
In the seven previous meetings between these two teams, Philippines have claimed two victories while Vietnam have won five. Vietnam have scored 12 goals and conceded eight in the process.
Philippines Team News
There is European representation in the Philippines ranks in the form of former Premier League goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who now plays backup to John Ruddy at Birmingham City.
Eighteen-year-old Santiago Rublico makes the long trip from Atletico Madrid – whose academy team he represents – to don his national team’s colours.
Philippines's Last 5 Matches
Vietnam Team News
All 28 of Vietnam’s representatives are based in the top flight of Vietnamese football, but Troussier has lost experienced 55-cap defender Do Duy Manh to an unspecified injury ahead of November’s fixtures.
Centre-back Que Ngoc Hai requires just nine more caps to become Vietnam’s highest male appearance maker of all time.
Vietnam's Last 5 Matches
Philippines vs. Vietnam: Odds and Predictions
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