AFC Cup: Buoyant Indians raring to go against UAE

Jose Verdugo
Enero 11, 2019

"Hosts UAE will be under pressure", said the coach.

When is the AFC Asian Cup match between India and UAE?

"As a coach, I have an experience of more than 35 years". We know that we failed our fans and we apologise to them. "We all hope to win to satisfy the fans, and our focus is on the India game". Mabkhout had a bad game against Bahrain but will look for redemption against India. I have enough experience.

"We have two very tough games", Constantine said.

The odds, though, appear to be stacked in UAE's favour as the Alberto Zaccheroni-coached side has a better Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking of 79, has won 8 of the 13 games between the two sides and will be spurred on by the noisy home crowd. "My main objective is to win the Asian Cup".

The last time India played UAE - whom they haven't beaten in 18 years - in a football match on UAE soil, they conceded three goals and two red cards during a World Cup pre-qualifier in Al Ain in 2011. The Blue Tigers won their opening game 4-1 against Thailand and are likely through to the knockouts, while UAE escaped with a draw against Bahrain after they were gifted a generous penalty.

UAE will play a typical 4-2-3-1 formation they will be direct in their approach and will try to exploit India with their physicality. We had a meeting with the players after the game against Bahrain where we showed India's strengths and weaknesses.

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UAE were criticised for their finishing last game as they wasted a few very good chances in their last game hence star striker Ahmed Khalil who was a substitute in their last game can be expected to return to the line-up to. I feel we started a bit nervous.

"There will be a lot of passion and desire to win".

India surprised many with their opening game win.

Stephen Constantine and his men will be full of confidence after their historic win against Thailand but won't be carried away by the result ahead of their clash against the hosts.

I'm convinced the UAE played very well against Bahrain, especially the first 30 minutes.

Zaccheroni confirmed that captain and centre-back Ismail Ahmed (calf), full-back Bandar Al Ahbabi (thigh) and winger Saif Rashid (thigh) will be assessed on Thursday to determine if they will be available for selection. "We will change that image and give a good image in the next game".

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