Ali's predictionAli Daei has predicted who will be in the final of the Asian Cup, and predictably he has gone for an Iran vs Japan final. There is no way that Daei isn't predicting Iran will not make the final, so really he only has to decide who he thinks will be in the final with them.
The other team he has plumped for are Japan, who is one of, if not the best Asian side right now. If you're going on the Fifa World Cup alone, then Japan is the best side but they're too many variables involved with saying who is the best side that way. For instance, Iran got handed a bloody hard group and was unlucky not to get out of it in the end. Japan's group was more competitive and they too were slightly lucky to get out of it. Anyway, it's hardly a prediction many wouldn't expect from Ali Daei but it's a prediction that could easily come true. Both Japan and Iran will go deep in the tournament as they're absolute juggernauts when it comes to football in the Asian region and many will be expecting the winner to come from one of these, which will be reflected by bookies odds around the world.
Iran and Japan, the best sides in AsiaI would argue that Iran and Japan are the two best international sides in Asia right now. There are a handful of sides just beneath them, which I'd say are currently just below the level of Iran and Japan. The likes of Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Australia are all strong, dominant Asian sides but at the moment they're slightly behind the Iranians and the Japanese. Then there are up-and-coming sides who big things will be expected of, who in my opinion are namely Vietnam and Uzbekistan. Both those sides have been doing very well in tournaments recently, especially at specific age group levels, and they will both be hoping that they'll be able to transfer that to their senior sides.
People may disagree with me, and that's fair enough because it's just subjective at the end of the day, South Korea has done very well with Paulo Bento as their new manager so far, Australia has an injury crisis going into the Asian Cup, and the Saudis seem to be hit or miss.
So, if anyone was going to ask me, I would be giving the same answer as big Iran legend Ali Daei that the winner will be coming from Japan or Iran. The other sides just below them will all be in the mix at the end of the tournament though and could easily upset one of the two fancied sides.