Asian Cup 2019, India vs UAE: Expert Talk - Predictions, Views, Opinions from Top Stars
India vs UAE - what can happen at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi at 9.30 pm IST on Thursday?
India are riding high after a morale-boosting 4-1 win over Thailand in their Asian Cup 2019 opener.
The hosts UAE, however, struggled to make anything of their game against Bahrain and drew 1-1 in the tournament opener.
India still go into the game as underdogs but will go with confidence.
But who is the favourite? Does Stephen Constantine have another trick up his sleeve? Will UAE coach Albert Zaccheroni go all out for that win?
We asked a few former India players and some current players as well on what they expect from the game.
Here's what they had to say:
(Indian football legend and former captain of the national team)
India is a good team. I am confident now that they can carry on to the next round. You can't relax.
It's a tough game because they are playing at home. I think with the preparations for the Asian Cup and the way they have prepared, they have been consistent even in the friendlies.
The guys are giving their hearts out on the pitch and I could see that in the game against Thailand. We can hope for a good result against UAE but it's difficult. I think even if they get one point from this game, it will be good for India.
(former India captain, midfielder; Commentator on Star Sports)
We have played UAE before in a FIFA World Cup qualifier. We beat them 1-0 at home on April 8, 2001, and lost by 1-0 in Dubai on April 26, 2001. Bhaichung was sent off in that match and we were playing with 10 men. That was back then.
All players, with the exposure they have got in the form the Indian Super League, are tactically better now. This will help them do well.
Ashique Kuruniyan has done really well for FC Pune City and has developed as a player since that stint with Villarreal. The coach has seen that and used him well in the game against Thailand.
However, this game will be different. India will have to play in a compact way and wait for the right moment to attack.
ALSO SEE - India v UAE - Predicted XI
(former India midfielder, known as the David Beckham of India. Currently the coach of Ambitious Football Academy in Mumbai)
I think we will win 1-0 if they play according to strength and this coach is really intelligent. He knows what UAE's weakness is. I think if we use this and play according to our strengths, we will definitely win this 1-0.
The entire squad of the national team is enjoying good form now. Gurpreet is key to keep the clean sheet for India. The rock-solid defence we have got under Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika will have a major role to play in this match.
UAE will go all out in this game, I feel. The first match is always important and since they drew their first game 1-1 with Bahrain, I am 100 per cent sure that they will play attacking football.
We can't go all out against UAE. They are pretty strong and we can't leave a gap in the midfield. We have to see how they are coming against us for the first 10 minutes. We have to keep the defence solid for the first 10 mins, see what they are doing and keep possession and counter them.
The way we played in the second half against Thailand, if we play like that, we can win this.
Next slide: What the current players have to say about the match