Country: United Arab Emirates
FIFA Ranking: 79
Nickname: The Whites (Al-Abyad)
Last match played: UAE 1-1 Bahrain (5 January 2018)
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni
Even before the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had a professional domestic structure, they had managed to make it to the FIFA World Cup, in 1990. They had lost all their games in the tournament managed to score against eventual champions West Germany.
It has been quite the journey since then for the team. They have qualified for each and every edition of the Asian Cup barring 2000 edition. Their best finish was as runners-up in 1996, coincidentally the last time they hosted it. They lost out to Saudi Arabia in the final on penalties at the Al Nahyan Stadium.
Furthermore, the Emiratis managed a
Regionally, UAE have won the Gulf Cup only twice - 2007 and 2013. They could have added a third to their cabinet twelve months ago but lost to Oman to settle for their fourth second-placed finish in the tournament's history.
Leading their charge into the Asian Cup will be a respected Italian coach in Alberto Zaccheroni who has been there and done that with Japan in 2011. The 65-year-old has also been at the helm of affairs at Juventus and both Milan clubs, winning a Scudetto in 1999, making him one of the most high-profile coaches in this edition of the Asian Cup.
Ever since Zaccheroni's appointment in October 2017, Al Abyad
Results under the Italian include defeats to Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Gabon and Kuwait in the runup to their Asian Cup opener against Bahrain.
However, the UAE did manage to hold Bolivia in November, who
LESSONS FROM THE PAST
Most recent meetings include two games in 2011, as part of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. UAE won their home leg 3-0 with Ismail Al Hammadi, in the current squad, scoring one. Jeje Lalpekhlua helped himself to a goal back in New Delhi as the game ended 2-2 - the only ever draw between these two sides.
The highest margin of victory for UAE remains a 5-0 thrashing in 2011 and for India is a 3-0 win in 1988. They have faced each other once previously in the Asian Cup finals, in 1984 when the UAE won 2-0.
|H-2-H||GAMES||IND WINS||DRAWS||UAE WINS||GOALS (IND)||GOALS (UAE)||GD [IND]||WIN % [IND]|
|IND v UAE||11||2||1||8||7||24||-17||18.18 %|
2016 Asian Player of the Year, Omar Abdulrahman, is being sorely missed by UAE. 'Amoory' could have proved to be the link between the midfield and forwards but the 2016 Asian Player of the Year is sidelined with an ACL injury.
Against Bahrain, Ahmed Khalil did not start but he converted from the spot after coming on in the second half in his 100th appearance.
In attack, UAE largely
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Ali Mabkhout: 2015 Asian Cup's top scorer Ali Mabkhout, with 46 international goals is 7 strikes away from overtaking UAE's all-time record goalscorer Adnan Al Talyani. He showed glimpses of superior attacking nous during the game against Bahrain and will be desperate to convert against India.
|UAE squad for Asian Cup 2019|
|Goalkeepers||Khalid Eisa (Al Ain), Ali Khaseif (Al Jazira), Mohamed Al Shamsi (Al Wahda)|
|Defenders||Mohamed Ahmed (Al Ain), Ismail Ahmed (Al Ain), Khalifa Al Hammadi (Al Jazira), Fares Juma (Al Jazira), Khalifa Mubarak (Al Nasr), Al Hassan Saleh (Al-Sharjah), Walid Abbas (Shabab Al Ahli Dubai)|
|Midfielders||Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain), Amer Abdulrahman (Al Ain), Mohamed Abdulrahman (Al Ain), Khalfan Mubarak (Al Jazira), Majed Hassan (Shabab Al Ahli Dubai), Ismail Al Hammadi (Shabab Al Ahli Dubai), Ali Salmeen (Al Wasl), Khamis Esmail (Al Wasl), Saif Rashid (Sharjah)|
|Forwards||Ali Mabkhout (Al Jazira), Ahmed Khalil (Shabab Al Ahli Dubai), Ismail Matar (Al Wahda), Mohammad |
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