Asian Cup 2019: All you need to know about Bahrain - FIFA Ranking, Manager, Formation and Key Players

Bahrain are in desperate need of a win
Bahrain are in desperate need of a win

India failed to add to their triumph over Thailand when they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the United Arab Emirates in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 on Thursday.

Stephen Constantine's men conjured a spirited performance against the host nation at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, but were eventually made to rue their missed chances as UAE sealed the win through goals from Khalfan Mubarak and Ali Mabkhout.

Despite the defeat during their penultimate game in Group A, India still have a healthy chance of making it to the knockout stages, if they manage to avoid defeat against bottom-placed Bahrain on Monday.

The Reds, who have endured a disappointing start to the tournament, are in desperate need of a win to stand a chance in making the knockout stages of the tournament.

Bahrain's defeat to Thailand has inflicted a heavy toll on the team and they need to bounce back against India, if they are to avoid packing their bags even before hitting their stride in the competition.

Although they have endured a slow start to the tournament, Bahrain are still more than capable of getting the result they want, especially considering they reached the semi-finals of the Gulf Cup last year.

Without further delay, let us delve into analyzing India's next opponents in the AFC Asian Cup -- Bahrain -- and all you need to know about them.

FIFA Ranking

Bahrain are currently ranked 113th according to the latest FIFA rankings, while India are 16 places ahead of their adversaries and occupy an all-time high ranking of 97th at this moment.

Bahrain Coach: Miroslav Soukup

Soukup was appointed as head coach back in 2016
Soukup was appointed as head coach back in 2016

Miroslav Soukup took the reign as head coach of Bahrain back in 2016 and has done a commendable job with the team until now. The 53-year-old guided the Reds to the semi-finals of the Gulf Cup last year as they held both Iran and Qatar to draws on their way to the penultimate round of the tournament in Kuwait.

The Czech coach has the experience of guiding his country to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Canada and first arrived in Asia when he took the role of head coach with the Yemen national team.

However, Soukup would eventually shift loyalties to Bahrain, where he has spent the last two seasons working towards rebuilding the team after a catastrophic qualification campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup under then manager Sergio Batista.

Bahrain are yet to scale any significant heights under the tutelage of Soukup, but ensuring qualification to the next round from Group A could be monumental, especially considering they have failed to do the same in the last two editions of the tournament.

Predicted Formation: 4-4-2

Bahrain Predicted XI
Bahrain Predicted XI

Form Guide: Bahrain

Here are Bahrain's results from their previous 10 matches:

Lost 1-0 against Thailand on 10 January 2019

Drew 1-1 with UAE on 5 January 2019

Won 4-0 against DPR Korea on 29 December 2018

Won 1-0 against Lebanon on 27 December 2018

Won 5-0 against Tajikistan on 20 December 2018

Lost 2-1 against Oman on 19 November 2018

Won 4-1 against Myanmar on 16 October 2018

Lost 1-0 against Syria on 11 October 2018

Drew 0-0 with China on 10 September 2018

Drew 1-1 with Philippines on 6 September 2018

Overall: 4 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses from their last 10 games.

Next slide: Key Players and full squad for the AFC Asian Cup 2019

Key Players: Bahrain

Madan impressed during the Gulf Cup last year
Madan impressed during the Gulf Cup last year

Ali Madan is one to keep a close eye on during India's meeting with Bahrain on Monday. The midfielder has plenty of pace to burn and can strike the ball well with his left foot, which makes him a considerable threat inside the opponent's final third.

Still only 23, Madan has already carved out a place for himself under Miroslav Soukup and his commendable performances in the Gulf Cup in Kuwait last year is a testament to the glaring potential waiting to be unearthed from the player.

The right-sided midfielder who is currently plying his trade in the Bahraini Premier League with Al-Najma SC has already netted three goals from 17 appearances with the national team, since making his debut under Soukup back in 2016.

Mohamed Al Romaihi is another player who could ask a few questions to the Indian back-line during the meeting against Bahrain on Monday night. The 28-year-old scored during the 1-1 draw against UAE and could act as the target man up front for the Reds as they aim to stifle the Blue Tigers' rearguard, who were error-strewn in their last game.

The Manama marksman is adept at holding the ball up and bringing others into the game and could also pose a physical challenge to the Indian defence, due to his unwavering commitment and grit. Although he squandered a few chances against Thailand the other night, Al Romaihi could be pivotal to Bahrain's game-plan during the do-or-die meeting with India.

Abdulla Yusuf Helal is the only player plying his trade in Europe from the Bahrain squad for the AFC Asian Cup. The forward is currently on the books at Bohemias Praha after joining the Czech top-flight outfit on a season-long deal from Slavia Prague.

Despite only arriving in Europe last year, Yusuf has been in scintillating form this season after netting five goals and registering three assists from his 15 appearances in the league. The 25-year-old has been restricted to cameos off the bench against both UAE and Thailand until now and will be hoping to start against India on Monday.

Bahrain could do with the attacking impetus offered by Yusuf against India, especially considering they have scored just the solitary goal from their two games in Group A till now.

Full Squad: Bahrain

Goalkeepers: Sayed Shubbar Alawi, Yusuf Habib Hasan, Abdulkarim Fardan Abdulkarim

Defenders: Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Waleed Mohamed Alhayam, Hamad Mahmood Alshamsan, Ahmed Merza Moosa, Ahmed Ali Juma, Sayed Redha Isa, Ahmed Mubarak Bughammar, Ahmed Abdulla Ali

Midfielders: Sayed Dhiya Saeed, Abdulwahab Ali Alsafi, Mohamed Jasim Marhoon, Ali Jaafar Madan, Ali Abdula Haram, Jasim Ahmed Alshaikh, Komail Hasan Alaswad, Jamal Rashed Abdulrahman

Forwards: Mahdi Faisal Alhumaidan, Abdulla Yusuf Helal, Mohamed Saad Alromaihi, Sami Mohamed Alhusaini

Edited by Kishan Prasad


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