Team GB - UAE Preview: Hosts looking for a win after Senegal draw
Stuart Pearce's side need a win to boost their chances of progression while the Middle Eastern squad will want to build on an impressive outing against Uruguay with three points
By Joe Krishnan
Taylor, Richards, Caulker, Bertrand
Ramsey, Giggs, Cleverley
Bellamy, Sturridge, Rose
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Ahmad, Al Hammadi, Al-Khamali, Sanquour
Hussain, Abdulrahman, Fardan, Eisa
Stuart Pearce will need to check on the fitness of several members of his squad after a physical encounter against Senegal on Thursday.
Craig Bellamy and Joe Allen both picked up knocks in hefty challenges against the African side and will be tested before the game, with the Swansea man currently looking most likely not to feature.
Daniel Sturridge was substituted in the Senegal game, but Pearce insisted the swap was tactical, rather than to do with fitness so the Chelsea man may lead the line again.
UAE have no fitness worries so may remain unchanged after impressing in the first half, despite eventually falling to defeat against Uruguay.
Ahmed Khalil and Ismail Matar will probably remain in attack after troubling the South American back line, with the more experienced Matar notching a goal against Uruguay.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Team GB are making their first appearance in the Olympic Games since 1960. The last time they won the football tournament was back in 1912.
- Stuart Pearce's squad includes no overseas-based players with just Jack Butland, Jason Steele and Marvin Sordell currently employed by clubs outside the Premier League.
- The British side are yet to win since being reassembled, losing to Brazil and Mexico in pre-tournament matches before drawing against Senegal in their Games opener.
- This is the first time that UAE have qualified for an Olympic Games football tournament.
- The Asian Games runners-up have just one squad member playing outside Asia, with defender Hamdan Al Khamali plying his trade in France at Ligue 1 side Lyon.
UAE captain Ismail Matar (pictured right), is the senior team's leading scorer with 27 goals in 89 caps.
- Team GB duo Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge were members of Chelsea's Champions League winning team last season, with Bertrand the only player to make his debut in the final of the competition.
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Top 3 Predictions
Great Britain U-23 1-2 UAE U-23
- 18.71 %
Great Britain U-23 2-0 UAE U-23
- 18.32 %
Great Britain U-23 2-1 UAE U-23
- 11.89 %
|Olympic Games (OLY)||29 Jul 2012||Great Britain U-23 3 - UAE U-23 1|
|Great Britain U-23|
|4 Aug 2012||Great Britain U-23 1 - South Korea Under 23 1||OLY|
|1 Aug 2012||Great Britain U-23 1 - Uruguay U-23 0||OLY|
|29 Jul 2012||Great Britain U-23 3 - UAE U-23 1||OLY|
|26 Jul 2012||Great Britain U-23 1 - Senegal U-23 1||OLY|
|31 Mar 2009||Great Britain U-23 0 - France U-21 2||FR|
|19||Mohamed Ahmad Gharib||Defender|
|-||Hamdan Al Kamali||Defender|
|-||Amer Al Hammadi||Midfielder|
|-||Ahmed Al Abri||Striker|
|-||Ismaeel Al Hammadi||Striker|
The Liverpool striker has been linked with a move to ambitious Premier League rivals QPR, and it's easy to see why.
The 32-year-old may be approaching the latter stages of his career but his goal in the 1-1 draw with Senegal displayed his value to the team as one of the over-23 picks.
With tremendous pace and acceleration, and with a sharp eye for goal, UAE will need to be on top form in defence if they are to contain the experienced forward.
The midfield playmaker was superb against Uruguay and will be eyeing another solid performance against Team GB.
Currently turning out for Al Ain, the highly-rated 20-year-old put in a magnificent performance against much-fancied South Americans. With his vision, he can pick out his team-mates with ease, and his coach Mahdi Ali will be hoping he can continue to create chances against Team GB.
UAE surprised many with the way they attacked Uruguay in the first-half, and therefore Team GB know that with the likes of Abdulrahman and Matar, they have players capable of creating chances.
However, despite not winning a game so far under Stuart Pearce's management, the motivation of winning on home soil and qualifying for the latter stages will be enough to get Team GB through the match.