India vs UAE – AFC Asian Cup
10th January, 21:30 IST
Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
India: L D L D W
UAE: D L D W D
AFC Asian Cup hosts UAE will take on a resurgent Indian side in their second Group A encounter at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night.
UAE, who are currently 79th in the FIFA International Ranking, are the highest ranked team in the group. However, the hosts only managed to pick up a draw from their opening Group A encounter against Bahrain on Sunday. Veteran striker Ahmed Khalil came off the bench to score a penalty and salvage a 1-1 draw for UAE after Mohamed Marzooq had given Bahrain the lead.
Their opponents India, on the other hand, stunned the footballing world as they mauled Thailand by a 4-1 scoreline in their opening match of the tournament. Sunil Chhetri grabbed a brace in the opening 48 minutes before Thapa and Jeje got on the scoresheet themselves to hand India an emphatic win.
The match against UAE is expected to be a much sterner examination of India’s defensive qualities, especially in front of a raucous home crowd. India will do well to repeat their heroics against the hosts.
India: Gurpreet; Subhasish, Anas, Jhingan, Kotal; Halder, Thapa; Narzary, Udanta, Kuruniyan; Chhetri.
UAE: Khalid Eisa; Alhasan Saleh, Fares Juma, Khalifa Mubarak, Al Ahbabi; Khamis Esmail, Ali Salmeen, Saif Rashid Nasir; Ismail Al Hammadi, Ahmed Khalil, Ali Mabkhout.
Combined XI for the game:
Indian shot-stopper Gurpreet Singh, who captained the Blue Tigers in the match against Thailand, will need to be at his very best if India are to get anything out of their encounter against UAE.
Centre-back Sandesh Jhingan is a monster in the box and is a major threat from corners and set-pieces.
Bandar Al Ahbabi is UAE’s ultra-attacking right-back and is an excellent offensive option for our side.
Khalifa Mubarak is a cheap route into the UAE backline and hence finds a place in our team.
Khamis Esmail and Ali Salmeen form the core of the United Arab Emirates midfield and are solid options for your Dream11 side.
Ismail Al Hamadi operates on the left-wing for the hosts and is an excellent source of goals as well as assists for your side.
Bengaluru FC winger Udanta Singh was in scintillating form against Thailand and is a virtual must-have for your side.
India’s star sharpshooter Sunil Chhetri, who will captain his side against UAE on Thursday night, will be tasked with scoring the bulk of the goals for the Blue Tigers.
Ashique Kuruniyan was a surprise selection by India’s Head Coach Stephen Constantine against Thailand. But it turned out to be a masterstroke as Kuruniyan put in a Man of the Match performance and was central to every meaningful attacking move India made against the Thais.
UAE hitman Ali Mabkhout has scored 122 goals in only 161 matches for his club Al Jazira and finished as the as top scorer in the last edition of the AFC Asian Cup.
Captain Pick: Sunil Chhetri
Vice-Captain Pick: Ali Mabkhout (Alternate: Udanta Singh, Ahmed Khalil)
Value Pick: Khalifa Mubarak
Must Avoid: Omar Abdulrahman