Asian Cup 2019: UAE vs India | Match Preview, Predictions, Live Streaming, Probable line-ups
The Indian football team has rewritten history as Stephen Constantine and hus boys grabbed the nation's first victory at the AFC Asian Cup 2019, with a triumph against Thailand. But now, it is time for the Blue Tigers to stay grounded as a tougher challenge awaits them at the Zayed Sports City Stadium of Abu Dhabi in the form of hosts UAE.
UAE are coming after a 1-1 draw in the opening game against Bahrain, one that almost slipped out of their hands. After a disappointing start to the Cup, the hosts would be very determined to get back on track to give the home crowd some treat.
This motive would be dangerous for India. Though the team was confident of making it to the next round smoothly, UAE are now at a state of bother, 3rd in Group A. However there are two more matches left in the group and coach Alberto Zaccheroni will aim to garner all the six points for the world's 79th ranked team.
Many, including the unofficial captain Sunil Chhetri, have admitted that the hosts will be a bigger hurdle than Thailand. Overcoming the hosts would mean a bigger achievement for India, but will be a challenge and needs to be approached carefully.
India must not be overconfident and should take time to study the game of UAE early on. Even if not a thrilling win, a smaller margin or a decent draw would be a good result for the Blue Tigers as the spot at the top of the group can be sealed.
UAE v India: Match Information
Date: 10 January 2019
Kickoff: 9:30 PM IST | 8:00 PM Local Time
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and hotstar.com
Live commentary on Sportskeeda
Venue: Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
UAE v India: Team News
The coach wouldn't be satisfied with the performances of the Emirati players against Bahrain, especially those in the attack. The late goal that came from the spot was from the boots of substitute Ahmed Khalil.
Khalil is expected to be given a start in place of Khamis Esmaeel, against India. The 30-year old midfielder Ismail Hammadi would be one player the coach would want a lot from. Still, the midfield combinations that looked dull for a fair share of time might be given another start by Zaccheroni.
India had a game in which they dominated every single aspect. Coach Stephen Constantine fielded predictable defenders and midfielders against Thailand and Subhasish Bose, who was a doubtful starter, did great to ensure his name for yet another start.
The surprise package for India - Ashique Kuruniyan - troubled Thailand throughout the 90 minutes. The 21-year old formed a deadly combination and understanding with Sunil Chhetri, paving way for two goals that showed the presence of mind of the two strikers. Hence, there are no changes expected in the lineup from India, with Ashique too impressing on the field.
UAE v India: Probable Lineups
UAE (4-4-1-1): Khalid Eisa, Khalifa Mubarak, Fares Juma, Alhasan Saleh, Bandar Al Ahbabi, Ali Salmeen, Amer Abdulrahman, Khalfan Mubarak, Ismail Al Hammadi, Ahmed Khalil, Ali Mabkhout
India (4-4-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subhasish Bose, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal, Halicharan Narzary, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri
UAE v India: Form Guide
UAE v India: Head-to-Head
UAE v India: Key Players
Ismail Al Hammadi will once again be a key man for UAE. The 30-year-old forward was played with an attacking mindset in the midfield against Bahrain, which would be repeated against India too.
If put into complete attacking duties too, Hammadi will be a threat for the Indian defence. The Shabab Al Ahli player missed a chance early in the game against Bahrain, which proves how vital his form is in UAE's game. Hammadi's presence in the midfield would mean Halder has to be given the duty of stopping him.
India's most vital presence in the lineup doesn't change frequently, being confined to Sunil Chhetri. The team cannot be said to be too dependent on the striker but Chhetri will be the first outlet from where goals are expected to come.
With more names on the scoresheet against Thailand, the second-highest active goalscorer in international football would have a lot of pressure taken off him. But the fans would expect Chhetri to continue from where he left off against the War Elephants.
UAE v India: Predictions
While UAE haven't had a great start to the campaign, India have amazed everyone with their change in game style. If India start the game respecting the opposition and not being overconfident, UAE will not have it easy. With the form Indian players are at, a draw can help the Blue Tigers a lot at the end of the 90 minutes.