Asian Cup 2019: India vs UAE - 5 Emirati stars to watch out for
India will lock horns with UAE in their second Group A match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on 10th January at 9:30 p.m. IST at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Dubai. Although the hosts are below us in the points table, the Blue Tigers shouldn't make the mistake of underestimating their opponents.
Moreover, UAE is ranked higher than India and are the favourites to top the group. The draw against Bahrain in the curtain-opener has opened up the group, but the hosts can reclaim their throne at the top of the table if they put up a clinical performance and win the match.
Even though UAE will be without their midfield lynchpin Omar Abdulrahman, India will have to be wary about these five players as they can change the complexion of the game with a single deft touch.
#5 Ismaeil Matar
Apart from Ahmed Khalil, another UAE player who missed out on the starting line-up was Ismael Matar. Unlike the former name, Ismael didn't even make an appearance off the bench as the coach failed to acknowledge the influence UAE's most capped international player can bring into the match.
However, now that Alberto Zaccheroni has paid the price in the form of dropping points against their Gulf neighbours, Ismael Matar is expected to start the game against India.
The 35-year-old veteran has been capped 123 times, scoring 42 goals in the process. This Thursday, he can earn his 124th cap either coming off from the bench or starting ahead of the misfiring Ismail Hammadi. Either case, the Indian back-four should be wary of him as he can slot in at the center, left, and right side of the attacking pitch.