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Football: Uzbeks great value to upset Saudi Arabia; ASIAN CUP.

Byline: By Dan Childs

UZBEKISTAN have been one of the surprise packages at the Asian Cup, but layers are still not giving them enough respect and they look decent value at 11-4 to record a 90-minute success over Saudi Arabia in today's quarterfinal clash at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

Uzbek coach Rauf Inileyev inisists that there are no favourites in today's clash and his opinions should not be taken lightly.

The latest Fifa rankings place his side seven berths above the Saudis in 54th, so their strong showing in this competition should have been anticipated.

However, the former Soviet state was written off as a nohoper at the start and they were backed on Betfair at 85 at one stage to lift the trophy.

Inileyev's outfit served notice of their potential by giving highly-fancied Iran a huge scare in their first match before going down 2-1.

And they have bounced back by recording impressive victories over Malaysia (5-0) and China (3-0).

Uzbekistan's recovery has been inspired by Dynamo Kiev striker Maksim Shatskikh who has bagged three goals in the last two matches.

Shatskikh was suspended for the Iran match where his goalscoring instincts were sorely missed.

His clever movement is certain to pose problems for an unconvincing Saudi Arabia defence which has kept just one clean sheet in their last six matches.

The Saudis collected seven points in the group stage but the significance of their victories over Indonesia (2-1) and Bahrain (4-0) - both ranked outside Fifa's top 80 - should not be overstated.

Three wins on the bounce have given Lillestrom plenty of confidence and they look decent value at 11-8 to secure a road success at Fredrikstad.

Lillestrom have finished in the top half in each in the last eight seasons and they go into tonight's clash with just four points separating them from leaders Stabaek.

Fredrikstad have won just two of their last nine games.

Recommendations

Ukbekistan

3pts 11-4 Bet365

Lillestrom

2pts 11-8 general
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2007
Words:329
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