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WC Qualification Asia

  • June 8, 2012
  • • 14:00
  • • Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Bayrūt (Beirut)
  • Referee: Abdullah Al Hilali
  • • Attendance: 15000
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Lebanon - Uzbekistan Preview: Cedars and White Wolves chase points after losing starts

Lebanon - Uzbekistan Preview: Cedars and White Wolves chase points after losing starts

Mahmoud maher

Uzbekistan have had a big week with a change of coach ahead of Friday's qualifier in Beirut, where Theo Bucker's side will be desperate to get some points on the board

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS

LEBANON

Al Samad
Dayoub, Najjarin, Mohamad, Ismail
Matar, Faour
Zreik, Atwi, Maatouk
Ghaddar
UZBEKISTAN

Nesterov
Inomov, Mullajanov, Ismailov, Tukhtakhojaev
Kapadze, Djeparov, Akhmedov, Andreev, Hasanov
Geynrikh

Lebanon's opening defeat to Qatar means coach Theo Bucker will know the importance of three points at home in this clash, meaning he may opt to start the more attacking-minded Nader Matar or Hassan Chaito in place of midfield destroyer Hussein Dakik. Ramez Dayoub, whose error against Qatar, proved costly should retain his place despite pressure from Ali Hamam. The Cedars are still without key pair Roda Antar and Mahmoud El Ali due to injury, robbing them of attacking creativity.

Uzbekistan have had a busy week with coach Vadim Abramov resigning following Sunday's 1-0 home loss to Iran, replaced by Bunyodkor boss Mirjalol Qosimov. The new man will be happy to have five players available after suspensions, including 2011 AFC Player of the Year Server Djeparov, as well as Shavkat Mulladjanov, Sanjar Tursunov, Islom Tukhtakhojaev and Vagiz Galiulin. Those players had copped extra bans after deliberately getting bookings in the fifth fixture in the third round so they'd serve their suspensions before the final phase. Azizbek Haydarov hasn't travelled due to injury, replaced in the squad by Kenja Turaev.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Lebanon had never qualified for the final round of World Cup qualiying through Asia prior to this campaign.
  • The Cedars are currently ranked 143rd in the world, the worst of the final 10 nations in the qualifying race through Asia.
  • Lebanon haven't won an international match this year, including defeats to UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar as well as a draw with Oman in a May friendly.
  • Uzbekistan have lost four of their past five internationals, including defeats to Iran, South Korea, UAE and Kuwait, although the latter three were in friendlies.
  • New boss Qosimov coached Uzbekistan for approximately two years when the side fell short in the 2010 World Cup qualifying. Qosimov has since led Bunyodkor to back-to-back Uzbek titles.

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Players to watch

Hassan Maatouk

Position: Midfielder

Games: 2

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The popular winger will be utilised plenty by the Cedars as they try to hit the White Wolves on the counterattack down the flanks. Maatouk has the quality to take on defenders and go it alone, crucial when relying on such tactics.

A. Geynrikh

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Geynrikh was at his crafty best against Iran on Sunday, with his skill and set-piece quality setting up plenty of chances but his team-mates simply couldn't convert them. He'll be a key man again and with support from the returning Server Djeparov may get on the end of a few chances.

Editor's Prediction

Theo Bucker's men will play a defensive game relying on the counterattack, while Uzbekistan will need to improve in the final third after Sunday's wasteful show against Iran. That combination suggests a struggle for goals, although if there is a winner it could be by the 1-0 scoreline.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Lebanon

Uzbekistan

Wins
0
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Lebanon LIB
Lebanon Lebanon
Draw
Uzbekistan UZB
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan
67%
27%

Top 3 Predictions

Lebanon LIB
2 - 1
Uzbekistan UZB
Lebanon LIB
2 - 0
Uzbekistan UZB
Lebanon LIB
1 - 0
Uzbekistan UZB

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