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Jun 15, 2021 at 4pm UK
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Preview: Philippines vs. Maldives - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - Asia clash between Philippines and Maldives, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Philippines and Maldives will round off their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign with a clash in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

Maldives are currently fourth in Group A and will finish in that position regardless of what happens on the final matchday, while the Philippines have already secured third spot in the section ahead of this clash.

Match preview

Philippines have won three, drawn one and lost three of their seven fixtures in Group A to collect 10 points, which has left them third in the section, six points behind second-placed China.

Scott Cooper's side opened their campaign with a heavy loss to Syria before picking up seven points from their next three matches against Guam, China and Maldives to leave their players dreaming of a top-two finish.

A 1-0 loss to Syria in November 2019 proved to be damaging, though, before a 2-0 defeat to China on June 7 all but ended their hopes of potentially sneaking into the position behind Syria.

Philippines will enter this match off the back of an impressive result, though, having put three unanswered goals past Guam on Friday, which ensured that they would finish in third position and claim a spot in the Asian Cup third qualifying round in the process.

Maldives, meanwhile, have won two and lost five of their seven matches in Group A to collect six points, which has left them in fourth position heading into their final game.

Just six goals scored and 19 conceded is an indication of their struggles, but they will finish above fifth-placed Guam, which means a spot in the Asian Cup third qualifying round or a playoff round.

Maldives have beaten Guam twice in Group A but have otherwise found it difficult, particularly in their last two matches, where they have lost 4-0 to runaway leaders Syria and 5-0 to China last time out.

Martin Koopman's side will be determined to end their campaign with a positive result, but aside from Guam, they have not triumphed at international level since September 2018.

Philippines World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Maldives World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Philippines midfielder Kenshiro Daniels was forced off during his team's defeat to China and missed out against Guam last time out, meaning that he is a major doubt to take to the field for this contest.

There are expected to be changes to the side that took on Guam, with Jarvey Gayoso likely to come into a midfield area, while Mark Hartmann, who scored off the bench on Friday, should return to the XI.

Angel Guirado was also on the scoresheet in his side's last match and should retain his spot, while Oliver Bias should again feature in an attacking area for the Philippines.

As for the Maldives, head coach Koopman is expected to make changes to the side that suffered a five-goal loss to China last time out.

Ali Fasir came off the bench in the latter stages of Friday's encounter but could now be handed a spot in the first XI, while Mohamed Naim is also in contention to start.

Ali Ashfaq did not start against either Syria or China, but the 35-year-old, who has scored 53 times in 79 appearances for his country, may come into the XI for Tuesday's contest.

Philippines possible starting lineup:
Schipmann, Reichelt, De Murga, Tabinas, Kempter; Gayoso, Ott, Schrock, Bias; Hartmann; Guirado

Maldives possible starting lineup:
Faisal; Numaan, Ghanee, Ali Samooh, Aisham; Mahudhee, Nasheed, Umair, Fasir, Mohamed; Ashfaq

SM words green background

We say: Philippines 2-0 Maldives

Philippines recorded a 2-1 victory when the two teams last met in November 2019, and we are finding it difficult to back against Cooper's team for this match. Aside from the two games with Guam, Maldives have struggled in this section, and we are predicting another loss for the Sea here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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