Anyway you slice it, Palestine dodged a bullet during last month's Asian Cup qualifying draw avoiding the group of death alongside the likes of Lebanon and Korea DPR. Instead, they have had the fortune of landing in Group D- where Maldives and Bhutan stand little chance of spoiling Palestine and Oman's march to UAE 2019.
Furthermore, the order of matches could not have been kinder- with Palestine avoiding their toughest fixture, away to Oman, until March of 2018.
Qualifying for most continental championships involves a basic formula- win at home, draw on the road. Palestine are still undefeated in all official FIFA sanctioned matches played on Palestinian soil and despite the limited sample size of five games over nine years- the artificial surface and vociferous support (as we saw against the UAE) makes Palestine a very tough proposition for even the strongest teams in Asia.
Away from home, Palestine are battle tested, able to hold their own in a multitude of different environments. Keep in mind, Palestine qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup by playing six encounters on neutral ground and two away. Their record (albeit against weaker opposition) was a sterling 6-2-0 with no goals conceded.
The top five issues facing Palestine after the jump...