UAE does have a very experienced bench waiting for opportunities. The coach has opted for some new and inexperienced faces to the starting XI, but didn’t get a much favourable result against Bahrain. But still, Alberto Zaccheroni would give the same combinations one more try with a possible change being Ahmed Khalil in place of Khamis Esmaeel.
Team India prepares for its second and bigger challenge at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup as the Blue Tigers face hosts UAE in an exciting contest at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
A match that is crucial for both the teams will be a fierce fight between the two midfields. With both the coaches depending on their midfield, for different reasons, the question will be whether India’s in-form midfield can get over UAE’s troubled midfield against Bahrain.
Khalid Eisa will be guarding the post once again for the hosts. The defence lineup might remain unchanged with Alhasan Saleh, Faris Juma, Khalifa Mubarak and Bandar Al Ahbabi.
In midfield, the attacks through the wings will be assigned to Ismail Al Hammadi on the left and the possible change Saif Rashid Nasir on the right. The central midfield will have Amer Abdulrahman and Ali Salmeen looking to restrict India’s movements.
The second striker will be a key presence in the UAE lineup. The coach started with Khaflan Mubarak in the previous game, but is doubtful to give the youngster a second chance. Ahmed Khalil who scored the goal against Bahrain might be another inclusion in the starting lineup. The striker in UAE’s plans would be Ali Mabkhout whose form still haunts the coach.