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UAE v Saudi Arabia

UAE sweat over Omar Abdulrahman fitness

4:15 AM SGT 29/8/17
Edgardo Bauza
UAE midfielder Omar Abdulrahman is recovering from a back spasm and is in a race against time to feature against Saudi Arabia.

Omar Abdulrahman is a doubt for UAE as they take on Saudi Arabia in the Group B fixture at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.

The Whites have the slimmest of hopes for qualification and are hopeful that their star man can return for the encounter.

'Amoory' has been suffering from a back spasm and while UAE defender Ismail Ahmad is also injured.

Head coach Edgardo Bauza however insists that he will be taking no chances with Abdulrahman and will play him only if he is completely fit.

“Only if Amoory is 100 per cent fit he will be on the field," Bauza said. 

"We want fully fit players to be there for this crucial clash. What we are looking is to get every point possible and our target is to win this match,” he added.

UAE snatched a draw via a late Ali Mabkhout goal against Thailand which left them in fourth place and still in with a mathematical chance of qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

However, they will also have to beat Iraq as well as Saudi to keep their hopes alive.

Meanwhile, Bauza has suggested that the opposition have an advantage since the Saudi Pro League is already underway and their players have a few games under their belt as opposed to the Emirati contingent.

“The only negative thing is that we didn’t play any official match while Saudi players have played in the league matches.

"Only national players from the Al Ain Club come into the contest with a competitive match in the AFC Champions League. But you can be assured we will give everything to script a positive result,” he said.

The game kicks off at 2030 GST on Tuesday.