One year after the historic FIFA World Cup 2022, a 24-team tournament will kick off in Qatar for the Asian football champion.
The top 24 teams in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are set to compete to be the champion of the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar on January 12.
Fans expect a cut-throat competition a year after Qatar hosted the World Cup 2022, as one team aims to be crowned Asia’s best.
So who are the favourites to win the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023?
Japan leads as the favourite team to lift the Asian Cup trophy, as they are the highest-ranked FIFA team in the AFC, sitting at number 17.
The four-time Asian Cup champions have a superstar lineup featuring Kaoru Mitoma, Wataru Endo, and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Japan faced a challenging group squad at the World Cup stage but still defeated Germany and Spain.
Japan have appeared in five of the last eight finals, so they will definitely be the team to try and beat in this upcoming tournament.
Captained by Tottenham dignitary Son Heung-min, Korea has been building a winning team for the Asian Cup, sitting at 23rd in the FIFA rankings.
Guided by Jurgen Klinsmann, South Korea is armed with Kim Min-Jae
who clinched the AFC Asian International Player of the Year prize at the AFC Annual Awards Doha 2022.
One of the top favourites to win the title this time, they hold the record for most appearances in the continental event.
In Qatar, South Korea is placed in Group E alongside Jordan, Bahrain, and Malaysia.
The golden team of the Middle East, Iran, is backed up by Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi.
Marking six appearances in the tournament, including the last three editions, Iran has held a historic spot in the AFC.
A routine team on the international football stage, Iran is 21 on the FIFA stage.
Winning the OFC Nations Cup, the continent’s equivalent of the European Championship, Australia is a powerhouse on the field.
In Qatar 2022, the team conquered until the round of 16 to be defeated by eventual winner Argentia.
The roster holds several experienced players, including Connor Metcalfe, Jackson Irvine, and veteran Craig Goodwin.
On the FIFA stage, the team ranks 25th, sitting between Austria and Sweden.