08 Jan 2019
India will have to learn from the past against UAE
UAE have historically been a much better side than India, and the Blue Tigers have been dealt heavy blows in most recent encounters with the Emiratis.
What are the things India should be careful about?
Find out right here.
How have the previous ties been between the two nations?
The two countries have met a total of 11 times, with India just managing to win twice.
India's last five matches against UAE have all gone against them bar one encounter in 2011 which was a draw.
While India managed to score just seven goals in total against UAE, the Emiratis have netted 24 times against the Blue Tigers.
History clearly favors the hosts.
UAE drew against Bahrain, a good sign for India
Though the 79-ranked side have been dominant in the past, they surprisingly drew against Bahrain, a match many thought would be a one-sided affair.
The draw also came when UAE scored from a penalty in the last minutes of the match, showing that they might have problems up front.
This is a good sign for India as their defense has proved to be solid.
UAE have a host of talents in their squad
UAE boast of special talents in their ranks, with Ali Mabkhout, Ahmed Khalil, and Khalid Eisa as the standout players.
Khalil was the 2015 Asian Player of the Year and has also played in the AFC Champions League final.
Khalid Eisa has recently played against Real Madrid in the FIFA Club World Cup final, while Mabkhout was the 2015 Asian Cup's highest scorer.
UAE's recent form is also a positive sign for India
However, since Zaccheroni became the coach of UAE, they have not been performing as usual, winning just four matches out of the 17 they have played under him.
They lost matches against Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Gabon, and Kuwait before coming into the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Given UAE's relatively poor form of late, India should ideally go for the kill.